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Gracenote's CarStars Signs Pete Wentz From Fall Out Boy and Pat Monahan From Train as Entertainment Guides

Gracenote - 01/07/2010

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) -- The chart-topping voices of Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, Train's Pat Monahan, Cartel's Will Pugh and Cobra Starship's Gabe Saporta will now be calling out tunes, creating playlists, recommending new music, and announcing new releases in the car via Gracenote's CarStars, the world's first personalized automobile entertainment system and winner of CNET's "Best of CES 2009" award in the automotive category. The announcement comes after all four artists have agreed to participate in the creation of CarStars entertainment guides, becoming part of Gracenote's groundbreaking movement to create personalized, direct relationships between artists and fans in the car. The CarStars technology and new celebrity voice guides will be demonstrated this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Gracenote's booth, LVCC South Hall 3, Booth 31106.

The signings of the new artists coincides with the launch of the CarStars artist licensing program, formed to provide an easy and efficient way for artists to create entertainment guides in the system.

CarStars is designed to create a customized user interface and music experience tailored to a driver's specific tastes. Drivers will be able to incorporate their favorite celebrity voices and images into their music collection. For instance, a rock fan can "theme" their car with Pete Wentz delivering tailored playlists, while pop punk lovers might opt to "pimp their rides" with Will Pugh or Gabe Saporta as their music guides. With the simple touch of a button or a voice command, motorists will be able to transform their themes to fit their mood or driving circumstances. For example, if a driver is cruising along the beach, the system might have Pat Monahan recommend music for a scenic drive. Or, if a driver is going 200 kilometers an hour on the Autobahn, Wentz might suggest firing up some of his own rock tunes. The CarStars platform is designed to be dynamic, with the ability to easily incorporate new music the driver might want to add to their collection.

"CarStars is an exciting new way for artists to connect with their fans all over the world," said Wentz. "I'm a firm believer in the power of new technology so I'm stoked to be involved with this innovative new platform and to help bring it to market."

CarStars will use technology that transforms the actual celebrity's voice into almost any language, resulting in a global solution for auto manufacturers. This means car makers can have celebrities speaking English in North American cars, Japanese or Chinese for their Asian models, or French or German for the European market -- regardless of the celebrity's native language. CarStars also allows motorists across the globe to select the languages in which they want to experience the featured artists.

The system also 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. A pioneer of in-car entertainment solutions, Gracenote is known for its powerful platform for enhancing the entertainment experience in the car and has taken its technology to the next level with CarStars.

"CarStars is a game changing in-car entertainment solution that directly connects artists with their global fan base in a whole new way," said Stephen White, vice president of content and product management for Gracenote. "With this new solution we are able to use sophisticated technologies to combine the key elements of the music experience that consumers have come to love on their PCs and bring it to the automobile market -- personalization, tailored recommendations and direct artist-to-fan relationships."

CarStars is available now for licensing and is slated for production in late 2010. For more information please contact carstars@gracenote.com.

Gracenote at CES

Gracenote is exhibiting at CES in the LVCC, South Hall 3, Booth 31106. To schedule a meeting with Gracenote at CES, please contact Veronica Skelton at 415-342-3435 or vskelton@gracenote.com. For more information on Gracenote's host of digital music and video services for the consumer electronics, mobile, automotive, and desktop industries, please visit www.gracenote.com, or contact us directly at gracenotelicensing@gracenote.com.

About Gracenote A pioneer in the digital media industry, Gracenote combines information, technology, services and applications to create ingenious entertainment solutions for the global market. From media management, enrichment and discovery products to content identification technologies, Gracenote allows providers of digital media products and the content community to make their offerings more powerful and intuitive, enabling superior consumer experiences. The company's solutions integrate the broadest, deepest, and highest quality global metadata and enriched content with an infrastructure that services billions of searches a month from thousands of products used by hundreds of millions consumers. Gracenote's customers include the biggest names in the consumer electronics, mobile, automotive, software and Internet industries. The company's partners in the entertainment community include major music publishers and labels, prominent independents and movie studios. Gracenote, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, is headquartered in Emeryville, California. www.gracenote.com

Gracenote is a registered trademarks of Gracenote, Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

  Media Contact:
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  Veronica Skelton
  Concept Communications for Gracenote
  415.342.3435 | veronica@conceptpr.net

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SOURCE: Gracenote

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

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