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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for April 18, 2001colored line

The Pro File Sharing Argument - While the major labels are jumping into offering copyright-secure paid music downloads on the Net, users arguing in favor of free downloads contend that while Napster may dry up, file sharing will live on with distributed networks such as Freenet and Gnutella. They say that music downloads will become ever more available, more efficient and more real and stimulating. Moreover, the huge library of MP3 music disseminated via Napster file sharing has become an essentially free catalog forever available to anyone regardless of Napster's fate. This side also feels that the digital sale to the public of any music whatsoever will automatically make that music available for free. The growing technical sophistication of the machinery (wider bandwidth connections, MP4/AAC on the horizon, etc.) is eliminating inefficiencies in the production and distribution of recorded music. And these considerations apply even more so to film and video media - since creating them up to now has been a much more costly and collaborative enterprise than music. For more on these interesting points:

First MP4; Now MP7? - While additional work is under way on the final iteration of the MPEG-4 standard, some tools for its creation are already beginning to become available. Another new standard will be MPEG-7, or MP7 for short. It defines a method of attaching descriptive information to the actual multimedia content to make it more easily managed and searched online. MPEG-7 complements the earlier MPEG standards rather than replacing any of them. It is also called the Multimedia Content Description Interface, and is scheduled to be completed for publication by this July.

A Killer Trio! - The Royal Swedish Academy of Music has awarded their tenth Polar Music Prize to three important figures for their exceptional contributions to music over the years. Get a load of this trio of winners: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Burt Bacharach and Robert Moog (inventor of the Moog synthesizer)! Anyone care to conjure up in your mind's ear what sort of music they would make together?

- John Sunier

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