[MD1] Sun Licenses Headspace Audio Engine
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[MD1] Sun Licenses Headspace Audio Engine





JavaOne Conference * San Francisco, CA * April 2, 1997 - Headspace Inc., a
leading creator of software technologies for music and sound on the
Internet, has licensed its audio engine to JavaSoft, a business unit of Sun
Microsystems, Inc., bringing high-quality sound and interactive music to
Java. Headspace founder, musician Thomas Dolby Robertson, will demonstrate
this technology at Sun CEO Scott McNealy's keynote address at the JavaOne
conference. The keynote address is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on April 3,
1997, at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

"We were eager to bring a monumental leap in audio quality to Java
applications," commented Jon Kannegaard, vice president of software
products at JavaSoft. "With Headspace, we've found an ideal solution. It's
high-quality, platform-independent, and completely software-based, giving
you capabilities you would only normally get by spending hundreds of
dollars on a high-end 32-bit wavetable sound card."

The Headspace audio engine will dramatically improve the quality of audio
in the Java Virtual Machine. The resulting Java Sound engine will allow
any Java-enabled platform to play high-quality sound effects, voices, and
music and will bring unprecedented sound quality to Java applications.

Because the Headspace audio engine is not hardware-dependent, it will allow
Java applications to play with equally strong audio quality on all
supported platforms. It is also highly network-aware, allowing sound and
music samples to be efficiently assembled from servers, client
applications, or hard drives, and dynamically controlled at runtime. "The
aim," says Thomas Dolby Robertson, "is a warmer and more compelling user
experience. Whatever the message-notification, training, advertising, or
entertainment-people respond better if it's enhanced with classy audio."

In addition to supporting playback of industry-standard music and sound
file types such as MIDI, MOD, WAV, AU and AIFF, the Headspace audio engine
also supports Rich Music Format (RMF). RMF is a cross-platform file format
that enables real-time, high quality music at modest bandwidths. It
combines the small file size of MIDI with the ability to download and play
sampled sounds, bringing speech and sound effects to internet audio. RMF
also allows copyright and licensing information to be embedded within a
musical file with 40-bit data encryption, ensuring that the authorship of
the music is maintained, even as the music travels across multiple

Thanks to a comprehensive set of Java-callable functions, the Headspace
audio engine can also respond intelligently to a user's interaction within
a web site or CD-ROM. This creates a richer and more personalized musical
experience than conventional audio solutions. For example, RMF music can
play not only upon the opening of a web page, but also on events such as a
"mouse click" or "mouse over." Scriptable events can also trigger
individual notes, sampled voices, or sound effects, start or stop music, or
change tempo, volume, pitch, or mix. This revolutionary flexibility allows
direct musical interaction with web pages, instead of the current use of
Internet audio as a passive, playback-only experience.

JavaSoft, headquartered in Cupertino, CA, is a business unit of Sun
Microsystems, Inc. The company's mission is to develop, market and support
the Java technology and products based on it. Java supports networked
applications and enables developers to write applications once that will
run on any Java-enabled machine. JavaSoft develops systems platforms,
tools, and applications to further enhance Java as the programming standard
for complex networks such as the Internet and corporate intranets.

Headspace, Inc. creates technologies for the delivery of music and sound
over the Internet. The company was established in 1993 by Mary Coller and
musician/composer Thomas Dolby Robertson. With offices in Hollywood and
Silicon Valley, Headspace produces both software products and musical
content for the web. Headspace's audio engine has been licensed to an
expanding family of strategic partners, including WebTV, and Be, Inc. Its
Rich Music Format (RMF) is a platform-independent standard for music on the
Internet. Headspace musical content has been licensed to many customers,
including Netscape Communications, whose Navigator 3.0 section of its web
site was sonified by a team of composers from Headspace; and SegaSoft, for
their highly-lauded CD-ROM, Obsidian. By coupling expert engineering
skills with first-class musical talent, Headspace is dedicated to realizing
new possibilities for interactive music and audio within multimedia and the

# # #


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