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October 13, 2004
Update: November 29,2004
Olympus Enters Portable HDD Music Player Market
With New m:robe Brand Products
New m:robe MR-500i motion music player offers fusion of music and imagest
New MR-100 HDD music player offers compact music playback
m:robe MR-500i FRONT m:robe MR-500i BACK
FRONT BACK
m:robe MR-500i
m:robe MR-100 FRONT m:robe MR-100 BACK
FRONT BACK
m:robe MR-100
The information contained in this news release applies only to the Japanese market.
Summary
Olympus Imaging Corporation (President: Hiroshi Komiya) is pleased to announce its entry into the portable hard disk drive music player business with the introduction of m:robe brand products that offer a totally new way of enjoying music. The first m:robe series products to be offered are MR-500i and MR-100 HDD music players. With these and other m:robe series products to be released in the future, Olympus is offering consumers a new music-oriented lifestyle and a convenient new way to carry their favorite music and images with them wherever they go.
The m:robe brand derives its name from the fact that m:robe products can be carried anywhere, anytime, allowing users to "robe" themselves in their favorite music wherever they go. It will be aggressively promoted by Olympus as a new brand of HDD music player. White is used as the signature color for m:robe products to evoke the timeless beauty of white porcelainware that sets off the beauty of the items it contains. The m:robe also features touch-screen / touchpad operation and a user-friendly GUI that provides visual and emotional feedback in response to user input.
MR-500i is positioned as the flagship of the m:robe series, and incorporates a 20GB hard disk drive that allows both music and images to be carried with the user. In addition to being an HDD music player that allows users to enjoy music playback, it is equipped with a 3.7-inch VGA monitor, a graphical image calendar function, and a camera function that turns the large LCD monitor into a viewfinder that lets users capture images simply by touching the screen. Under the concept of "REMIX YOUR IMAGES," it also features a Remix Play mode that allows users to freely create a fusion of music and images, by combining their favorite music and images with a variety of visual effect templates to easily edit and play original image content.
MR-100 is a dedicated music playback model that incorporates a 5GB hard disk drive in its compact body, allowing it to store up to approximately 1,200 musical selections.
The m:trip music and image management PC software is included with both the MR-500i and MR-100. The m:trip application software can be used to play music captured from CD or purchased via internet download, to view images captured with the MR-500i or a digital camera , and to playback Remix content by combining images with. Simply by connecting an m:robe to a personal computer it makes it easy to transfer music and image data for a wider ranger of digital content enjoyment.
Design Concept
The m:robe products reflect a rigorous commitment to design excellence. They are designed to harmonize with their surroundings, and to project an image of cleanliness, gentleness, and simplicity. Their white signature color reflects the timeless beauty of white porcelainware, which, rather than making a strong style statement of its own, tends to draw attention to the beauty of the flowers or foods that it contains. In the same way, m:robe products are designed to be like "white porcelain vessels" that enhance the beauty of the images and music they hold.
Main Features
m:robe MR-500i Motion Music Player with Remix Play Mode for Image and Music Enjoyment
MR-500i is a portable HDD music player that allows user to enjoy music, images, and — via its Remix Play mode — a fusion of music and images. A 20GB hard disk drive is built-in.
1. Remix Play Mode Support
MR-500i features a Remix Play mode that allows various effects to be applied to images so that they can be enjoyed in conjunction with music playback. Remix Play mode is composed of three elements: music data, multiple image data, and visual effect templates. These can be freely combined and stored as "Remix Cubes." Remix Cubes can easily be created with the included m:trip computer application software or the remix-enabled m:robe MR-500i.
2. A New Shooting Style
In addition to displaying digital photos transferred to it from a PC, MR-500i incorporates a camera unit for image capture. It also offers a new shooting style that allows users to capture the world they see on the large LCD monitor/viewfinder simply by touching the screen. A Viewer function enables captured images to be organized into albums, displayed in calendar format, and viewed as slideshows.
3. Touch-Screen GUI
A touch-screen GUI allows intuitive operation. By moving a finger up or down on the screen, users can perform actions such as track selection and volume adjustment.
4. Versatile Search Functions
Music and images can easily be searched by date, playback history, or user-assigned keyword. You can search music by album, artist, genre, composer, year of release, or playback history. Images can be viewed in thumbnail, album, or calendar format, making it even easier to find the ones you want.
5. Dedicated m:trip Application Included
An m:robe dedicated PC software called m:trip is included with MR-500i. The software can be used to manage m:robe file transfers, convert CD music files to WMA*1 format, and create Remix Cubes for Remix Play mode. It also allows music, image, and Remix Cube data to be synchronously transferred to an m:robe MR-500i simply by placing the unit in its dedicated cradle.
*1 WMA is an audio format developed by Microsoft Corporation that offers high sound quality and high compression. WMA is supported by Windows® Me and subsequent Windows® operating systems. CD recordings compressed into the WMA format offer 48kbps data streaming for CD-quality sound.
6. Built-In High-Capacity 20GB Hard Disk Drive
A high-capacity 20GB hard disk is built into MR-500i, allowing up to approximately 5,000*2 music selections or 20,000 *3 images to be carried.
*2 Assuming music data only; 128kbps files in WMA format with a track length of 4 minutes.
*3 Assuming image data only; 4-megapixel images.
7. Built-In 3.7-Inch TFT Color LCD
The 3.7-inch, high-definition LCD offers VGA (640 horizontal x 480 vertical) quality with 260,000 colors, and can be used to view photos, CD jacket art, and song lyrics*4 .
*4 Users must download relevant data from the Internet for CD jacket art and song lyric display.
8. Versatile Preset Equalizer
16 equalizer settings are provided for different genres andplaces where users are listening. Users can set and save their favorites, and easily fine-tune sound quality to suit their preference.
9. Remote Control
Playback, stop, volume, fast forward/reverse, and song title and artist name display can be operated by remote control. A convenient 'Favorites' button makes it easy to add the currently selected track to your Favorites list.
10. White Signature Color and Unified Design
Both m:robe models feature a white signature color and unified design. Like white porcelainware, they have a timeless beauty that sets off the beauty of the items they contain. Together with i:robe series digital solution brand products for easier and more enjoyable digital photography, they define a unified world of their own.
Other Features
• Support for MP3*5 / WMA File Playback
Supported file formats include the popular MP3 format, as well as WMA formats including variable bit rate WMA.
*5 MP3 is the short name for MPEG 1/2 audio layer 3 compression. It makes it possible to achieve 10:1 file data compression with minimal loss of sound quality.
• USB 2.0 Interface
Data transfer to a PC is possible via the dedicated cradle and a USB cable. Hi-Speed USB 2.0 is supported. In addition, support for storage class USB allows the m:robe to be used as an external data storage device simply by connecting it to a PC (Windows 2000/XP).
• AV Output (when using cradle)
AV output via the dedicated cradle allows Remix Play to be enjoyed on a standard TV, and music to be played back through amplifier-equipped speakers.
• PictBridge Support
PictBridge standard support allows direct printing to any PictBridge-enabled printer.
m:robe MR-100 Portable Music Player
The m:robe MR-100 is a compact portable music player designed exclusively for music playback.
1. White Signature Color and Unified Design
Both m:robe models feature a white signature color and unified design. Like white porcelainware, they have a timeless beauty that sets off the beauty of the items they contain. Together with i:robe series digital solution brand products for easier and more enjoyable digital photography, they define a unified world of their own.
2. Unique Electrostatic Pad Operation
Volume adjustment and track selection are via unique electrostatic pad-based controls. Operation is intuitive and can be effected simply by moving a finger up or down on the pad.
3. 5GB Hard Disk Drive
Despite its compact size and low weight, the MR-100 is equipped with a 5GB hard disk that can hold approximately 1,200 musical selections*6.
*6 128kbps files in WMA format with a track length of 4 minutes.
4. Dedicated m:trip Application Included
An m:robe dedicated PC software called m:trip is included with the MR-100. The software offers management functions for music data transferred to an m:robe, and conversion of CD music files to WMA format.
5. Easy Track Selection
Music can be searched by artist, album, year of release, recent favorites, and other criteria. Users can also choose from a "My Top 20" playlist of frequently played tracks, or create custom playlists of their own.
6. Versatile Preset Equalizer
16 preset equalizer settings allow users to control bass and treble according to the music genre or listening environment to suit their mood and musical taste.
7. Other Features
• Support for MP3/WMA File Playback
Supported file formats include the popular MP3 format, as well as WMA formats including variable bit rate WMA.
• USB 2.0 Interface
Data transfer to a PC is possible via the dedicated cradle and a USB cable. Hi-Speed USB 2.0 is supported. In addition, support for storage class USB allows the m:robe to be used as an external data storage device simply by connecting it to a PC (Windows 2000/XP). Battery charging via USB is also possible.
• Remote Control
The optional RM-13 remote control provides additional at-your-fingertips operating ease.
New Olympus i:robe / m:robe Brand Website
A new i:robe/m:robe-branded website is being set up at URL: http://robe-gate.jp/. In addition to i:robe and m:robe product information it will feature a rotating gallery of works created by various creative artists using the i:robe and m:robe. A free download of m:trip software for m:robe music and image file management will also be offered for a limited time only. Ultimately, the new website will serve as a one-stop information and resource center for i:robe/m:robe digital image and music content creation.
*The imaging systems business of Olympus Corporation was reorganized as a separate company, Olympus Imaging Corporation, as of October 1, 2004.
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