<p>CREATIVE LABS CELEBRATES 5th ANNIVERSARY OF MP3 PLAYERS</p>
<p>First MP3 Player Shipped in Australia – April 1999</p>
<p>SYDNEY – 22 April 2004 - Creative Labs Pty Ltd, a local subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd, celebrates the 5th anniversary of shipping the very first MP3 players in the Australian market in April 1999.
The Creative Nomad Digital Audio Player was the earliest MP3 player to hit Australian shores, 5 years ago. MP3 players are now a global phenomenon but it was a very different story back in 1999. Nick Angelucci, of Creative Labs comments. “Back then, no one had heard of MP3 players and people were surprised how excited we were about this technology. When it came to selling an MP3 player, many of our resellers refused based on the fact that to them, it was only just a fad.”
The concept of MP3 players did eventually start to gain momentum locally, twelve months later when Creative Labs Australia launch the Nomad II in April 2000 and then the World’s first hard drive based player called Nomad Jukebox in September 2000. By this point, Creative had managed to find key resellers, who where confident enough to push the technology and since then sales of Creative digital audio players have doubled, year on year.</p>
<p>Today, Creative Labs’ products are stocked by all major electronic goods retailers. “During the critical Christmas run up in 2003, Creative Labs was shipping more digital audio players than any other vendor making us the market leading brand in Australia with our range of disk and flash memory players.” Said Angelucci.</p>
<p>Internationally, music downloads have increased tenfold from January to March this year. Changing public tastes for high quality songs, rather than lower quality illegal material has prompted this move. Record companies are now taking notice and are starting to embrace music downloads as they look to release more of their recordings online.
Locally, NineMSN, MuleMusic and Telstra BigPond Music have set up their own online music stores. Traditional music retailers are also forming a download presence like Sanity and HMV. Sanity Music also sells vouchers over the counter, redeemable at the online store, so younger customers can use purchase music without the need for a credit card.</p>
<p>All eyes are looking to the next step the industry, and furthermore Creative Lab’s, will take as a main player in this brave new world.</p>
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<p>About Creative – the innovators in digital sound
Creative is the worldwide leader in digital entertainment products for users of the personal computer and the Internet. Famous for its Sound Blaster® sound card and for launching the multimedia revolution, Creative is now driving digital entertainment on the PC platform with products like its highly acclaimed NOMAD® Jukebox. Creative’s innovative hardware, proprietary technology, applications and services leverage the Internet, enabling consumers to experience high-quality digital entertainment -- anytime, anywhere.</p>
<p>Creative Technology Ltd does not authorise or advise copying, mixing, or remixing music materials without permission from copyright owners. If you are uncertain about your rights, you should contact your legal advisor.</p>
<p>For more information, images or an interview, please contact
Neil Foster or James Hale - Mango Communications
02 8260 2844</p>