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Online Music Wars

Techstination feature for Friday, April 20, 2001

The online music wars. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. With rival Real Networks having forged agreements with some major record labels to offer songs by subscription at a site called MusicNet starting this summer... .Microsoft isn't sitting on the sidelines. It has unveiled a service called MSN Music... offering streaming music for free. It uses technology developed by MongoMusic... .to help listeners find songs to their liking. Microsoft's Jeremy Hinman... .

"Say for example you like Etta James and your favorite song is At Last by Etta James, you can come, type that into the site and find music that sounds just like that particular song and more importantly, listen to a stream of music, sort of like an online radio station, that sounds like that. So it matches your particular mood and makes it effortless ... an effortless experience for the consumer when they come to the MSN music site.

The site has a database of over three hundred thousand songs. You can listen for free, but not download...

"People can't save the music on their machines, or download it. And also, we don't allow users at this point to get music on demand. So you can't listen to that song, Etta James, At Last, on demand. So what we're doing is we're showing how personalization technology can be used to allow consumers to find music that they like and listen to that music."

Microsoft isn't ruling out the addition of a subscription based service in the future. The site is Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.