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Mercora Offers Legal Music File Sharing

Boot Camp feature for Friday, November 18, 2005

There's AM radio, FM radio…. XM radio…and now IM radio. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. IMRadio is the creation of a company called Mercora….founded by former McAfee CEO Srivats Sampath. The idea, he says, is to create a legal file sharing system. Legal because Mercora pays all of the appropriate music industry fees when for instance songs I have on my computer are played…via the Internet…on your computer. Individual computers….says Sampath…are turning into mini radio stations….

"With this kind of an approach we were able to create probably the largest radio network in the world today. We have 1.6 million downloads. At any moment you have between 50 and 60 thousand channels of music. And the beauty of our approach is it's all done by our users. We just play the market maker who puts the listener with the broadcaster."

You can record music to your PC…but it can't be transferred to CD or to portable players. The software is free…the idea is to have the service supported by advertising…like Google…

"What we have become is probably the search for music."

With one flaw being…and it is a big one….that you can't search by song name…only by artist. Sampath says that's a licensing issue. But it does provide for a way for family, friends and even strangers….to share music….legally. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.