LOUDEYE, MICROSOFT LEND A HAND
Digital music services provider Loudeye and Microsoft willcollaborate on handling the infrastructure and distribution of onlinemusic services branded by other companies that are looking to sellsongs online. Loudeye's services — which include its DigitalMusic Store and iRadio Service that contains 100 pre-programmed musicchannels — are based on Microsoft's Windows Media 9 Series. Earlycustomers include AT&T Wireless and Gibson Audio. Plans forMicrosoft's own download service are still in the works.
WAL-MART JOINS THE DOWNLOAD FRENZY
Retail giant Wal-Mart launched a bare-bones Website (http://musicdownloads.walmart.com/catalog/servlet/MainServlet)to test its new $0.88-per-song online music service. Offering thousandsof tracks that can be downloaded in the Windows Media Audio format, aswell as transferred to portable devices, burned to CD or played onWindows-compatible PCs, the site is currently in beta test and willformally launch in the spring of 2004. Tracks available will mirrorthose that are sold at the stores, continuing with the company's policyof not offering music that it deems offensive.
DO I HAVE P2P PROGRAMS ON MYCOMPUTER?
Music-Amnesty.com has debuted its ShareControl ($19.95), a softwareprogram that checks for the Top 10 music file-sharing programs and MP3son a computer and then allows the user to delete them.
“I think most people want to comply with the RIAA ruling butjust don't know enough about their computers,” said Mark Andrews,co-founder of Music-Amnesty.com. “The key advantage we give usersis the ability to police themselves. Users decide if they want todelete these programs, turn sharing on and off, delete or keep musicfiles; we don't impose our values. Our research shows that when parentsdelete one peer-to-peer product, their sons or daughters often downloadanother product and start downloading music again. Parents need to knowif these products are on their computers and what their potentialliability is.”
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