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Music Scramble on the Net

Techstination feature for Wednesday, April 14, 1999

The mad scramble over music on the Internet. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. They have seen and heard the future of music and they want a piece of the action. Suddenly high tech companies like Microsoft, IBM and AT&T are slugging it out over the delivery of digital music over the net. Microsoft has announced the new MS Audio and IBM is partnering with Real Networks, the company that set the standard for streaming audio and video on the web. What they all see is how wildly popular MP3 music files have become. The sound... (sound)... is nearly CD quality. And you can take the files with you on handheld players. Diamond Multimedia has one called the Rio, and has added a new special edition model. Creative Labs has just introduced the Nomad MP3. Creative's Christi Wilkerson says there are two models, one that can hold 32 megabytes and the other with double the capacity...

"Those models, unlike any of our competitors include an FM tuner as well as voice recording. We supply our players with a docking station, rechargable batteries and they both come in a magnesium case."

The question is, how long will the MP3 format remain a standard? The recording industry is pushing to develop a new format that would make the music more difficult if not impossible to copy. Creative Labs says it will make devices to play whichever format customers decide on.