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Acer NeWeb and Sonicbox Partner to Bring Internet Radio and MP3 To Home Stereo Systems.

Acer NeWeb to Brand and Distribute the iRhythm(TM) Incorporating Sonicbox' iM

Tuning(TM) Service

SAN JOSE, Calif. and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 29 /PRNewswire/ --

Acer NeWeb Corporation, the Acer Group's advanced communication division, and Sonicbox, Inc., dedicated to making listening to Internet radio as easy as tuning an FM dial, today announced a distribution partnership in which Acer NeWeb will brand and distribute the iRhythm(TM), incorporating Sonicbox' iM Tuning(TM) Service. The iRhythm enables consumers to wirelessly control and transmit Internet radio and MP3 files from their PC to their home stereo system.

Through the Sonicbox iM Tuning Service, iRhythm listeners can tune into stations on the broadband-optimized iM Band(TM) or to any station on the Web, as well as develop and run personal MP3, Windows Media, and Real Audio playlists. With iRhythm, users can remotely control the Internet radio user interface and transmit audio to any stereo. iRhythm consists of three hardware pieces including a base station, a receiver and a remote. The base station connects to a PC via a USB port and transmits audio utilizing 900 MHz wireless technology to a receiver. The receiver connects to a stereo's audio inputs, delivering MP3s or Internet radio music through the speakers. The third piece, a RF remote control, allows users to change radio stations or adjust volume away from their PC.

iRhythm and the iM Tuning Service also provide opportunities for listeners, stations and advertisers to interact through the "Smile and Frown" and "Tell Me More" (TMM) buttons. Listeners click the TMM button and are given up-to-date news and purchase information on the artist and title. By selecting the "Smile and Frown" buttons, listeners can give selection feedback and enter contests or polls for that particular station. With iRhythm and the iM Tuning Service, listeners can tune into a wide variety of "Best of Planet(TM)" iM Band streaming Internet radio stations from around the world, from anywhere in their home. The iM Band's stations cover 25 different categories and dozens of genres from rock 'n' roll and blues to news stations and world music, highlighting 32 "Best of Planet" stations per category. Listeners can also customize their own "Z-Band" with their favorite Internet stations or MP3 playlists.

"By partnering with Acer, we're continuing to accelerate the growth of the iM Tuning Service that allows Internet radio to reach beyond the PC," said Niko Bolas, Sonicbox CEO. "Together we're committed to delivering the best of Internet radio programming through the iM Band, while making it as accessible and simple for consumers as tuning into an AM or FM station."

"This partnership with Sonicbox fits perfectly with our mission of introducing innovative communication products to the market," said Sonny Hsieh, Vice President and General Manager of Acer NeWeb, North America Division. "The iRhythm allows consumers a richer Internet audio or MP3 experience by enabling them to utilize their expensive, high-quality home stereo system instead of their standard PC speakers."

Acer NeWeb plans to release iRhythm at selected retail locations by the end of Q3 2000. The MSRP is $119.99 with an expected street price of $99.99.

About Acer NeWeb Corporation

Acer NeWeb is the advanced communications division of the Acer Group, the third largest PC manufacturer in the world. Its mission is to create innovative communication solutions for video, voice and data, including both hardware and software solutions. Acer NeWeb's product lines include wireless networking products, satellite equipment, PCS handsets and communication software. With its world-class expertise in radio frequency and antenna technology and through its strategic partnerships, Acer NeWeb is forging its way to the forefront of the communications industry. Acer NeWeb's global headquarters are in Hsinchu, Taiwan with U.S. headquarters in San Jose, Calif. For more information on Acer NeWeb and its products, please visit www.acerneweb.com < http://www.acerneweb.com >.

About Sonicbox, Inc.

Sonicbox, Inc., creators of the iM Band, delivers the first Internet radio network that brings "Best of Planet" programming to your favorite stereo. Sonicbox makes listening to high-quality Internet radio and audio from around the world as easy as tuning your FM dial. With software, hardware remote tuners and the company's proprietary iM Tuning Service, listeners can easily tune to a wide range of stations for enjoyment on their stereos from anywhere in the home. The Sonicbox ad insertion technology creates a strong revenue engine for their Internet radio station partners on the iM Band. For more information on Sonicbox, please visit our Web site at: http://www.sonicbox.com .

NOTE: iRhythm is a trademark of Acer NeWeb Corporation. Sonicbox, iM, iM Tuner, iM Tuning, iM Band, iM Remote Tuner and Best of Planet are trademarks of Sonicbox, Inc. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are those of their respective holders.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 29, 2000
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