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While the marketing potential for products branded with an automaker's logo is lost on me, they continue to be produced in spades. BMW will begin selling the BMW MP3 Sunwear at its dealerships, a pair of sunglasses that combines ocular protection from harmful UV rays and audible enjoyment via a built in 512mb or 1GB capacity MP3 player. The larger capacity model stores up to 16 hours of music in MP3 format (they can also be loaded with 32 hours worth of WMA encoded music) and will play for up to 16 hours on a charge. The BMW "roundel" logo appears on each temple of these shades, which will go for $295 and $395 respectively.

Full press release after the jump…


Marriage of Sight and Sound Produces Hi-Tech, Stylish Sunglasses with Built-in MP3 Player, Stereo Earphones

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - September 23, 2005? Music fans can enjoy an eye - and ear opening experience - with the new BMW MP3 Sunwear. Users can protect eyes from harmful UV rays, listen to a favorite song with built-in stereo earphones, and record a ?to do? list, bringing the terms multifunction and multi-tasking to a new, ?unheard of? level.

As stylish as it is functional, BMW MP3 Sunwear features a sleek, contemporary look with the BMW roundel logo displayed on each temple. Both models come in black with two spare exchangeable lenses and a BMW carrying case.

The BMW Sunwear features Flash memory with an integrated USB device that can offer a steady stream of tunes in both an MP3 and Windows Media (WMA) format. The 512 MB model holds or stores eight hours of music in the MP3 format, 16 hours in Windows Media and can store up to 36 hours of voice recordings. For those who enjoy extended listening pleasure, the 1 GB model holds or stores 16 hours of music in the MP3 format, 32 hours in WMA format and stores up to 72 hours of voice recordings.

Charging up and downloading data are low maintenance tasks with these hi-tech sunglasses. There?s a USB cable jack on each temple: the left side is for recharging and the right one uploads and downloads data to the BMW MP3 Sunwear. Users can take off on their favorite adventure and move to the latest music hits for up to 15 hours before the lithium battery needs a recharge.

The BMW MP3 Sunwear also records sound in an Adaptive Differential Pulse Code Modulation (ADPCM), a method of encoding sound data that takes up less storage space than the regular PCM format.

Both models are compatible with operating systems for Windows including WIN 98 Second edition, WIN Millennium Edition, WIN 2000 and WIN XP, as well as with Mac operating systems - Mac OS 9.0 or higher and Mac OS X 10.3 or higher.

BMW MP3 Sunwear models have a one-year warranty. They come with operating instructions, and a CD-ROM for easy set up. Two USB extension cables are included for proper uploading/downloading capabilities. The BMW MP3 Sunwear is $295 for the 512 MB model and $395 for the 1GB model, and are available at BMW dealerships, at www.bmw-online or by calling 888-269-6654.

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