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 MP3 News


Users can now download and mix tracks from the Internet -

CLEARWATER, FL - September 9, 1999 - Visiosonic, Ltd. today announced that it's PCDJ product will be offered by the DJzone as a free download. PCDJ allows users to mix MP3 tracks, as a professional DJ would, to create a personalized music selection from the Internet.

The download can be accessed from MP3.com's Web site, http://www.djzone.net. Click on the "Cool Stuff" icon to download the product.

PCDJ is the only multifunction music management system with dual mixing capabilities, and the only player in the world that allows for exact cueing of certain types of MP3 files. The product allows the home enthusiast or professional disk jockey to download songs from the Internet, re-mix them and create custom presentations. The user can record to CDs and other media. Visiosonic's products encrypt and watermark MP3 files to avoid piracy and illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.

DJzone is the ultimate source for mobile and club DJ on the Internet. Combined it's eight DJ related sites report an average of 25,000 visits a day.

About Visiosonic, Ltd.

Visiosonic, Ltd. was founded in 1998 by Joe Vangieri, a professional disk jockey known as Joe V. The company develops and markets digital music software and hardware products for professional disc jockeys and home music enthusiasts. For more information, visit http://www.visiosonic.com.

OtsJuke DJ
OtsJuke DJ is a practical and useable pro-audio solution for the Windows platform, designed for DJs, radio stations and music enthusiasts. This amazing program sets a new standard, allowing things previously impossible with MP3 software. OtsJuke DJ delivers perfect, radio-standard, automatic mixing between your music files allowing you to sit back and enjoy the flow. There's NO two second latency in OtsJuke DJ. Experience instant volume controls, instant +/- 20% pitch and tempo control, and an instant response dual-channel 10 band GraphicEQ!! Total volume management is also possible via an integrated Auto Gain Control, Compressor and Limiter (just like the pro-club DJs and radio stations use). Probably the most amazing feat is OtsJuke DJs ability to recognize the beat!! This is all topped off with an intuitive user interface incorporating drag-and-drop items, virtual decks, play/history/work lists and a powerful instant search facility.

Please visit http://www.otsjuke.com for more detailed information and download the demo yourself!!

MP3 coming to a home stereo near you
Jim Davis

Downloaded digital music isn't just for the PC anymore.

X10, a company best known for home networking technology that controls lights and alarms, is hoping to capitalize on the popularity of MP3 with a product that beams MP3 files from a PC to a home stereo.

Although consumers can already play MP3-format music on portable players such as the Rio from Diamond Multimedia and Nomad from Creative Labs, playing back MP3 files on a home stereo typically requires converting the songs to a standard audio format and burning them onto a recordable CD.

But with X10's MP3 Anywhere, users can wirelessly send MP3 music from a PC hard drive or directly from the Net to a home stereo. The PC and stereo can be up to 100 feet apart. X10 is selling the transmitter, receiver, and associated software for $99.

A consumer doesn't have to stand at the PC to listen to new tracks, either. An included remote control can change MP3 tracks from anywhere in a home and also functions as a universal remote for VCRs, satellite dishes, and other X10 products.

"MP3 and X10.com are giving people what they really want in terms of music and the hardware to carry that music to anywhere in the home," Alex Peder, president of X10's retail sales division, said in a statement.

MP3 has already become a wildly popular format for acquiring music via the Net. Numerous Web sites provide legal downloads; countless others offer pirated material.

Being able to play the files easily on home stereos, which typically have much better speakers than PCs, could give another boost to MP3 and streaming music formats.

Ratings firm Media Metrix recently said monthly usage of online music players in the United States has jumped to 4 million users, an increase of nearly 400 percent from June 1998.

The recording industry, already upset over the rampant pirating of songs, is not likely to be pleased with the ability to play MP3 files on a home stereo, either. Because the MP3 technology lends itself easily to reproduction and piracy, the recording industry has withheld its support, even going so far as to file a suit against Diamond Multimedia, which was recently settled.

Yahoo launches digital music endeavor
Jim Hu

In an effort to get its hat in the online music ring, Yahoo today launched a service called Yahoo Digital that allows consumers to listen to and download music.

With the launch, Yahoo joins a number of its competitors in trying to attract music-hungry Net users. In June, America Online acquired Internet radio company Spinner and music technology firm Nullsoft for $400 million. Earlier this month, Lycos snatched up MP3 player Sonique when it acquired parent company Internet Music Distribution.

The acquisition built upon Lycos's previous efforts; in February, it launched MP3 Search, a service that allows users to find songs in the MP3 downloading format. Yahoo was in talks to buy Sonique in July, but the deal fell through.

Yahoo Digital allows Web surfers to listen to music from popular recording artists and buy songs that can be downloaded and stored on a user's hard drive. Users also can watch and listen to Internet broadcasts such as concerts and music videos and view on-demand video channels.

In addition, in about a week, users will be able to self-publish and sell their own music online, Yahoo said. Other partners include Beatnik, which lets users remix songs on the Web; Emusic, which allows users to sample and buy individual songs or entire albums in the MP3 format; and Liquid Audio, which encodes songs into its proprietary format for downloading.

Yahoo Digital flexes the muscles of Web media programmer Broadcast.com, which Yahoo acquired in April for about $5 billion. The unit, now called Yahoo Broadcast Services, broadcasts live events for general consumers and private corporate events.

Yahoo plans to use Broadcast.com's media streaming services throughout its network of sites, according to Tim Brady, Yahoo vice president of production. The idea is to beef up the sites' content with audio or video. For example, Yahoo Sports users can listen to sports news, or Yahoo Finance users can listen to company conference calls during quarterly earnings announcements.

Brady added that Yahoo will also use GeoCities' home page-building features in Yahoo Digital. "GeoCities and Yahoo Digital's integration will get tighter and tighter in the coming months," he said.

With the new service, Yahoo adds another feature to its ever-increasing list of "vertical" sites, which also include finance, sports, news, and shopping. Although rapid build-out of new content areas is viewed favorably by investors, some analysts warn that Yahoo may be spreading itself thin, offering content in too many subjects.

In the long term, that could cause Yahoo users to opt for more content-specific sites instead of a general information source, according to Derek Brown, an equity analyst at investment bank Volpe Brown Whelen.

"Ultimately, the specialized destinations are going to be inherently more valuable than distribution itself," Brown said.

As an offline example, Brown compared David Letterman's departure from NBC to CBS. Letterman fans followed him because "CBS recognized the value was in the content, not in the distribution," he said.

Yahoo's move comes as the Web is becoming a significant force in the music industry. Consumers increasingly are turning to the Web not only to read about artists and buy CDs, but also as a place to get music directly. Users download songs onto their hard drives and can play them back or transfer them onto portable devices such as Diamond Multimedia's Rio.

Portals such as Yahoo are arriving relatively late to the online music party. Sites such as MP3.com and the Ultimate Band List have become popular online music destinations. Record companies, such as Sony Music, Universal Music, and BMG, also are planning music destination sites. Media giant Viacom plans to launch a music hub site as soon as next month that will build on the popularity of its music properties MTV and VH1.

Marc Geiger, a music industry veteran and cofounder of ArtistDirect, which owns the Ultimate Band List, said Yahoo's entry into any space is taken seriously by smaller players, his company included. Web giants can use their widespread audience and reach to promote a service like Yahoo Digital throughout their sites.

However, "the question is focus and execution" for a larger, more general site to succeed in a specific category, he said.




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