Fitting more tunes in less space is better, right? Well, the proponents of mp3PRO say that the new format can create audio files that are at least half the size of current mp3 files while being backward compatible with the older format. To achieve full saturation of the standard, new devices will have to include the hardware that will let you take full advantage of it. Texas Instruments and Thomson Multimedia let us know that TI will be the first hardware company to license Thomson's new digital audio format. TI's idea is that companies that use its programmable digital signal processors (DSPs) to build mp3-capable products will able to update the devices to support the mp3PRO format. TI says that its DSPs can offer backwards and forwards compatibility, enabling mp3PRO files to play on original mp3 products and mp3 files to play on any upcoming mp3PRO devices. The programmability of the DSP gives manufacturers the option of providing a web site where customers can go to upgrade their audio players for Mp3PRO. In other words, if your mp3 player has one of these chips in it, you may not have to buy a new player to take advantage of the new format. Support for mp3PRO on TI's DSP is scheduled to be available by the end of this year.
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