|Visit to EDIG|
I suppose that for all my lurking and reading of great posts by many, its time I take a turn.
Turns out I had the make a business trip to San Diego and I had a few extra hours in my schedule. So, I called Robert
Putnam and arranged a brief visit figuring I may never again get the opportunity. What follows is a summary.
I managed to find their office without any trouble. The parking while not packed, had quite a few cars. After being greeted by Robert, I had a quick walk through the facility (short leash) as we went to Robert's office and
was able to observe a few people getting some unknown, confidential and secret work done. Most were hunkered down in their bunkers (er, cubes) and due to the confidential nature of the work and business, I was not allowed
to wander around and see what they were really up to.
In general, I would have to say that much of the discussion was of the "future's so bright I gotta wear shades" variety. As would be expected, there is not much real information that can be gleaned from such a discussion that has not already been made public. Robert was very good (careful) about this, and I would not want to get them in trouble (but asked anyway).
EDIG continues to work with multiple clients. The "double digits" was again used. These are expected to result in future revenues (royalties), and royalties are expected from some in this current quarter. How much and timing for future royalties are not clear.
Real product (s?) are also expected this quarter. Kind of obvious if royalties are to start flowing. I got the impression that more than one will be introduced, but this is art, not science.
I asked about competing devices such as the Nomad Jukebox. Robert believes the EDIG design to be far better. Longer battery life, better sound, less cost (better software, less hardware). I was able to listen to the little
flash memory based music player. It did sound pretty good to my ears (I dabble in audio and recording), and
three codecs were played - MP3 AAC and WMA. I think the AAC sounded the best.
The headphones were good $100 sony's. This will make about anything sound better, particularly the low frequency bass (which everyone wants to hear), but they will also provide enough definition to hear crap. I did not hear any crap (assuming an MP3 at 128kbs is not that crappy - which it can be at times).
I asked about the current jukebox, and all were out for review.
I asked about the voice activated juke box. While not available, I was assured that "significant development work" has been (and is being?) done.
I asked Robert about the prevalence of MP3 and its potential as king of the hill since it was first and is widely used. Interesting perspective here.
Why would the music companies want MP3? It is associated with piracy. Look for other codecs in order to get away from this relationship. Also, expect, at least to start, multiple different codecs as the music big wigs would not
want to be held hostage to one codec and one company (son of microsoft). I can at least see logic in these arguments which would lend support to an effective multi-codec player, and perhaps give EDIG that competitive advantage once the content starts to roll out.
They are hopeful on continuing business with Lanier (Platinum), but are waiting on concrete Lanier news.
They are looking at a variety of other products. A long list of potential applications you have heard before. How real, we will have to wait and see.
I asked about engineers, I seem to remember the response as 23. I think that is about double a year ago.
Concerning cash position, they felt comfortable going forward for perhaps 12 - 14 months. If the revenues roll in, then should be able to avoid more financing. But...the future is always uncertain (kind of like the dark side). Believe the series C shares outstanding is still the same as
reported at end of December.
The quarter just ended result will be released in June following a full audit of year end numbers.
It is anticipated (hoped) that more announcements will be made this current quarter as was mpreviously indicated.
I asked if officers/directors might be buying stock in the open market. Did not get a good answer (expected). Kind of like - on these salaries? And, that these were decisons of the officers alone. He did mention the tax hit he and Fred Falk took on options as a kind of substitute for open market buying support.
That's about it as I did not want to take up any more time (about 1/2 hour). The meeting was very cordial and upbeat. Robert made me feel welcome which was appreciated. And, I appreciate the time he took out of his day as well.
Did I get all my questions answered. No. But, that is asking for too much. Clearly, there is life at EDIG and work is going on. Potential is tremendous. Risk, certainly. Potential reward risk ratio...pretty good IMHO.