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Beatnik Launches the BEATNIK Xtra for Macromedia Director Artists; New Product Provides the Macromedia Community the Power to Bring Interactive Music and Audio to the Web.


Beatnik, Inc., the leader in interactive audio technology for the web, video games, and TV set-top devices, announced today the Beatnik Xtra.

The Beatnik Xtra is based on the Beatnik Audio Engine and can now be integrated into Macromedia Director to enable web designers and game developers the ability to easily add high-quality, interactive music and sound to their projects without the bandwidth limitations currently associated with Director audio. The announcement was made during the Macromedia Users Conference taking place in San Francisco from May 25 - 27, 1999 (Booth No. 215).

Running within Macromedia Director, the Beatnik Xtra equips web and game developers with the tools to design and manipulate audio within their Shockwave content. Macromedia Director users will have the capability to interactively "sonify" their web-sites with Beatnik's easy-to-use software and audio library that enriches a user's Internet experience.

For example, with Beatnik, audio can be played while opening a web page, downloading graphics, and as a response to events such as mouse clicks or "mouse overs" or when certain actions are taken in a game. Beatnik Xtra also provides copyrighted music and the ability to create new sounds so that Macromedia Director developers now can control aspects of sounds and music such as tempo, instrumentation, key and other features of MIDI-based music.

"This is a breakthrough for the Macromedia Director community because Beatnik offers a quick and easy solution for integrating the highest quality music and sound into web sites and games," said Jeff Martin, senior vice president of Marketing at Beatnik, Inc. "Beatnik is giving the Director community a creative advantage as they can now design web sites without the concerns of sound file size that usually accompany the typical Director project."

"Site builders and game developers are always testing the Internet boundaries and Macromedia Director used with the Beatnik Xtra encourages them to realize the technology's full potential," said Thomas Dolby, founder of Beatnik. "The Beatnik Xtra helps deliver on the promise of the web and interactivity by bringing the surfer the entertainment they expect with sound and music. Now our Director users will have access to the same Beatnik audio tools used by the makers of popular games such as Hexen, Descent, Spectre Supreme/Spectre VR, Sim City and LucasArts' Star Wars Screen Entertainment."

As well as a shipping demo version bundled with Macromedia Director, the BeatnikXtra is available at a low $299 per user price and can be download from Beatnik's Web site (, where a special area has been set up to provide tips and information for Macromedia Developer users. Beatnik, Inc. also makes available the Beatnik ActionSet Pro for Macromedia Dreamweaver, an advanced set of behaviors for $49.95. A demo version of the Beatnik ActionSet also ships with Dreamweaver.

What is the Beatnik Xtra?

The Beatnik Xtra leverages the success of Macromedia Director as a tool for creating high-quality, interactive music and sound and delivering it via the Web at low bandwidths. The Beatnik Xtra makes interactive music on the web a reality in Shockwave, with 64 channel stereo audio, as compared to 2 channels currently in Shockwave for Windows, and gives Shockwave interactive features like dynamic panning, powerful mixing, and a synthesizer for playing back great-sounding interactive RMF and MIDI music. For a demo, see

About Beatnik

From its headquarters in Silicon Valley, Beatnik, Inc. delivers interactive audio software technology and musical content via the Web. The Beatnik Audio Engine has been licensed to an expanding family of strategic partners, including Microsoft/WebTV, Sun Microsystems, Netscape, Oracle/NCI, Intel, NetObjects, Macromedia, and Be, Inc. Its Rich Music Format (RMF) is a platform-independent standard for music and audio on the Internet.

By coupling expert engineering skills with an expanded catalogue of musical content, Beatnik, Inc. is dedicated to realizing new possibilities for interactive music and audio within multimedia and on the Internet. Beatnik, Inc. (formerly Headspace, Inc.) was formed in 1993 with a team of software innovators and world-renowned visionary, musician and composer Thomas Dolby Robertson.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 25, 1999
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