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February 4, 2004
Pay Music-Downloading Scams - With the huge success of some paid music downloading sites such as Apples iTunes, other sites have sprung up which are creating many complaints from users. Easy Music Download, for example, portrays itself as a song-sellilng service when it is not that at all but merely an information source for how to download free file-sharing services such as Kazaa. The service claimed one could have unlimited downloads from over 700,000 songs for an annual fee of $21.95. There are over a dozen similar sites offering paid recommendations and tech support for free, easily available music software. Some are designed to appear as legitimate subscription-music services while others do state in front that they are offering only information and assistance. A spokesperson for one site said Its for people who have no clue what to do on the Web...so theyre willing to pay for help.
Advertising CDs Next? - An industry expert has suggested seriously that the best way to help the music industry in a time of decreasing sales would be to transform the CD into an advertising platform. He suggests using the packaging and label artwork to deliver advertising messages as simple as a web site URL and logo, or an actual audio commercial or special promotions for the artist on the disc. He says consumer benefits could be a lowering of the sale price of CDs, and the attraction of special offers made possible from the connection of the music with other products and services. Hmmmm.
Computer Industry Advances Hi-Res Audio - Microsoft announced at CES that the latest version of their Wiindows Media Audio codec has provision for up to eight channels of 96K/24bit lossy or even lossless PCM audio - catching up with Apples OSX software which has supported 96/24 audio for some time. Now Intel has a new audio spec they call Intel High Definition Audio. It increases the bandwidth to allow for 192K/32bit multichannel audio. The final version will be release midyear and will be featured in a new chipset. The architecture is designed for an improved audio usage and stability level for onboard PC audio devices. Their announcement mentioned the increasingly important role PCs play in DVD-Audio, home theater and streaming music services.