Company News

Baby You Can Drive My Car, But Now With Mims, Nick Ashford, or Musiq Soulchild as Your Entertainment Guide

Gracenote - 01/07/2009

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW -- Life in the fast lane will never be the same once drivers experience the world's first personalized automobile entertainment system -- the result of a collaboration between Gracenote® and Voxonic with support from Atlantic Records and Nissan Motor Co. -- being demonstrated this week at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Designed to create a dynamic user interface tailored to a driver's specific tastes, the system, dubbed CarStars, provides an entirely new in-car entertainment experience using celebrity images and voices. For instance, coupe drivers can go hip hop with American King/Capitol Records recording artist Mims calling out the tunes, while an SUV owner might opt for an R&B theme with Nick Ashford.

The CarStars personalized experience relies on Gracenote's MusicID® and Playlist Plus™ products to profile a driver's music collection, as well as its MediaVOCS® voice recognition enhancement that allows users to control their music collections using voice commands. Drivers will be able to simply call out an artist, track, album or genre to play their music, or use Gracenote's More Like This™ feature to create instant, intelligent playlists. Gracenote, a leader in in-car digital media, is known for its powerful platform for enhancing the entertainment experience in the car and is now taking it to the next level with Voxonic integration.

Voxonic's VOX technology applies its "Voice Models" to transform the actual celebrity's voice into any language, resulting in a global solution for auto OEMs. This means car makers can have Musiq Soulchild speaking English in North American cars and Japanese or Chinese for their Asian models, or Roy Ayers speaking French or German for the European market. The Voxonic solution will allow users across the globe to select the languages in which they want to experience the featured artists.

Gracenote and Voxonic are collaborating with Atlantic Records to provide popular artists such as Musiq Soulchild for the entertainment system demonstration. The companies have also joined with Nissan Motor Co. to demonstrate the technology in the Nissan Altima Coupe during this year's CES.

The solution includes the creation of Text-to-Speech engines in the celebrity's voice in multiple languages so that dynamic content can be delivered to the vehicle in the language of choice of the user. For example, real time information such as news, and new music releases, will be able to be delivered to the system and delivered to the consumer in the celebrity voice. This is vastly superior to today's pre-recorded celebrity voice experiments in the automotive and mobile markets.

"This partnership and demonstration with Voxonic brings sophisticated technologies together in a way that puts us at the forefront of in-car music, entertainment and personalization," said Stephen White, vice president of content and product management for Gracenote. "This customization of the automobile entertainment system is dynamic, interesting and exciting, with drivers able to hear their favorite artists recommend new music, and create playlists while viewing customized user interfaces on the navigation screen."

"By integrating our VOX technology with Gracenote's products to demonstrate this new in-car entertainment system, we are providing more exciting entertainment options for drivers and laying the foundation for a host of artist-related in-car experiences in the future," said Arie Deutsch, president of Voxonic. "It will always be thrilling to hear your favorite artist speak to you in your native language and it allows artists and their global fan base to connect in a whole new way."

Gracenote at CES

Gracenote will demonstrate the new in-car entertainment system at CES 2009 in the South Hall 3, Booth 30333. To schedule a meeting with Gracenote at CES, please contact Veronica Skelton at 415-342-3435 or veronica@conceptpr.net. For more information on Gracenote's MusicID, Playlist Plus, MediaVOCS or host of digital music and video services for the entertainment, mobile, automotive, and consumer electronics industries, please visit http://www.gracenote.com/, or contact us directly at GracenoteLicensing@gracenote.com.

About Gracenote

Gracenote, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, is a global leader in embedded technology, enriched content, and data services for digital entertainment solutions within the Internet, consumer electronics, mobile, and automotive markets. Formerly known as CDDB®, Gracenote delivers a substantially improved consumer experience in digital media devices and applications, plus media monitoring and other data services to the recording industry, making it an integral part of the digital media economy. Gracenote powers leading services including Apple iTunes, Yahoo! Music Jukebox, Winamp; home and automotive products from Alpine, Panasonic, Philips and Sony; and mobile music applications from Samsung, Sony Ericsson, KDDI (Japan), KTF (Korea), Musiwave (Europe), and others. Gracenote is headquartered in Emeryville, California. http://www.gracenote.com/corporate.

About Voxonic

Voxonic Inc. has developed some of the most innovative software since windows revolutionized the computer industry in the early nineties. This exciting technology is able to convert any person's voice into any known language in the world. The applications are endless streaming from international business, politics, music, automotive, entertainment and the video game industry. http://www.voxonic.com/

Gracenote, MusicID, MediaVOCS and CDDB are registered trademarks of Gracenote, Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

   For More Information Contact:
   Veronica Skelton
   Concept Communications for Gracenote and Voxonic
   415.342.3435
   veronica@conceptpr.net

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SOURCE: Gracenote

CONTACT: Veronica Skelton, Concept Communications, +1-415-342-3435,
veronica@conceptpr.net, for Gracenote and Voxonic

Web site: http://www.gracenote.com/