HOUSTON, July 9, 2004 —
— Today baseball fans can sign up to keep their eye on the ball — wherever they go.
Microsoft Corp. announced today from the All-Star Game fan activities that Amazon.com will exclusively offer preorders of Windows Mobile (TM) -based Portable Media Centers. The software company also announced that MLB Advanced Media (MLB.com) will make Major League Baseball content, including daily condensed and full games, extended baseball highlights, weekly bloopers and homerun reels, archival footage, and classic moments available as a subscription package or on a pay-per-view basis for download and playback on the new handheld multimedia device.
Soon youll be able to watch MLB.com anywhere, anytime with Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Centers, which are available for preorder on Amazon.com today.
Portable Media Centers are a new category of multimedia players that allow people to enjoy all the digital entertainment they store on their PC — recorded television, music, movies, and pictures — on one device. Using any personal computer running Microsoft® Windows® XP and the new Windows Media®
Player 10, people can quickly and easily transfer music, photos and video to their Portable Media Center to enjoy anywhere, anytime.
The first available Portable Media Centers are the Creative Zen Portable Media Center and the Samsung YH-999. Both machines have 20 GB of storage and retail for $499 (U.S.). The Creative Zen Portable Media Centers are scheduled to be delivered in late August to consumers who have preordered, and the Samsung YH-999 will be available in late September.
“This is a great double play for Microsoft and MLB.com. People who want to be the first on their block to enjoy video, music and photos anytime and anywhere can order their PMC today, and it’s a real bonus for baseball fans who want to watch their favorite teams on the go,” said Todd Warren, corporate vice president of the Devices, Services and eXperience Group at Microsoft.
Any Time, Anywhere
At the official league Web site, http://www.mlb.com/ , Major League Baseball games, condensed games, archival footage and select classic games will be available for download and transfer to a Portable Media Center, making it easy to watch games anytime and anywhere you want to be.
The MLB.com service will be available as a subscription package or on a pay-per-view basis. Baseball footage available to watch via portable Media Centers will include the fan’s choice of any or all of the following daily game coverage:
Condensed games. All the action, in a fraction of the time! Complete game replays, minus the pitching changes, between-inning breaks or long at-bats. All the action of an MLB game in about 20 minutes.
Classic footage. Fans can relive baseball’s greatest moments with full video and audio game rebroadcasts from classic MLB games.
“Major League Baseball just got a lot more exciting,” said George Kliavkoff, senior vice president of business development of MLB.com. “Fans now have even more opportunities to keep connected to the game — no matter where they are or what time it is.”
Portable Media Centers: Personal, Powerful and Portable
Portable Media Centers are a result of close collaboration between Microsoft Corp. and leading consumer electronics manufacturers such as Creative Labs Inc., iRiver International and Samsung Electronics, as well as Intel Corporation, maker of the XScale technology reference design. The Creative Portable Media Center and Samsung YH-999 are the first to be introduced, and iRiver plans to launch the PMC-100 later this fall.
Easy-to-use buttons and an intuitive screen on the Portable Media Center help people quickly navigate through thousands of songs and photos and hours of video. A Portable Media Center with a 20GB hard drive will store and play up to 80 hours of video, up to 5,000 songs or tens of thousands of photos — enough to chronicle a lifetime. As a part of this agreement with MLB.com, several entertainment companies and services have committed to providing movies, music or other entertainment for Portable Media Centers. Worldwide, there are more than 1 million tracks available in Windows Media Audio format from more than 60 online music stores that can be transferred to the device. Online music store Napster.com has announced it will make subscription content available for Portable Media Centers. Online movie store CinemaNow will make select movie titles available to Portable Media Centers for rental or purchase.
In addition to photos, music, movies or videos found online, users will be able to record television digitally on a PC and transfer it to the Portable Media Center. With Windows XP Media Center Edition, the computer is already enabled to easily capture and transfer recorded television from the PC to a Portable Media Center. People using Windows XP can record television shows with a TV tuner card and SnapStream Media’s Beyond TV 3 software and then transfer the recorded shows to the device. The Amazon.com preorder page can be viewed at http://www.amazon.com/portablemediacenters/ .
About MLB Advanced Media
Established in June 2000 following a unanimous vote by the 30 Major League Baseball club owners to centralize all of Baseball’s Internet operations, MLB Advanced Media LP (MLBAM) is the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball. MLBAM manages the official league site, http://www.mlb.com/ , and each of the 30 individual Club sites to create the most comprehensive Major League Baseball resource on the Internet. MLB.com offers fans the most complete baseball information on the Web, including up-to-date statistics, game summaries, extensive historical information and exclusive features about Major League Baseball events and programs, including online ticket sales, baseball merchandise, authenticated memorabilia and collectibles, fantasy games, live and archived radio broadcasts of every game, live and archived video webcasts of entire games, pitch-by-pitch enactment of games, and hosted post-game video highlight shows. MLB.com offered more live events on the Internet than any other Web site in the world, with over 40,000 hours of live programming in 2003. Fans listened to or watched nearly 600 million minutes of streaming audio and video during the year.
About Windows Mobile-Based Portable Media Centers
Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Centers are handheld entertainment devices that make it easy to store and play recorded television, movies, home videos, music and photos transferred from a PC with Windows XP. Users can watch and listen to their favorite entertainment anytime and anywhere — in the palm of their hand or through a TV or stereo. It’s simple to sync music, video and pictures from the PC with Windows Media Player 10, and fast and easy to find the entertainment users want to play on their device. Portable Media Centers also support Windows Media Audio and Windows Media Video plus other leading file formats, so users can choose from a wide range of music, videos and pictures.
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