Music Technology Update

As Apple continues to demonstrate that people are willing to pay for digital music, others jump into the game, most notably Sony. Microsoft’s DRM technology will enable publishers to “rent” digital music by providing DRM files that “expire” after a certain amount of time. Whether users embrace Microsoft’s Janus DRM technology remains to be seen. As long as there is DRM technology, there will be attempts to crack DRM technology — in the name of fair use, piracy, or otherwise. So it should come as no surprise that Hymn (Hear Your Music aNywhere) (http://hymn-project.org/) was publicized shortly after Apple announced iTunes v4.5, which contained modifications to the rights consumers get when they purchase music via iTunes. Finally, if you like the KartOO visual search engine (http://www.kartoo.com/), you’ll love MusicPlasma (http://www.musicplasma.com/), which is a visual search engine for music, and which demonstrates that not all innovation in music technology is aimed at cracking DRM technology.

References:

A Russian site claims to be offering music for about $0.05/song.
(2004-04-28) (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/04/28/russian_music_service/)

Apple announces version 4.5 of iTunes with modified DRM.
(2004-04-28) (http://news.com.com/2100-1027_3-5201598.html)
(2004-04-28) (http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/04/28/149254)
(2004-04-28) (http://www.corante.com/copyfight/archives/003426.html)

Microsoft’s Janus DRM enables music files to expire.
(2004-05-03) (http://apnews.excite.com/article/20040503/D82B2R1O0.html)
(2004-05-03) (http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20040503164033910)

Sony launches Sony Connect to compete with iTunes.
(2004-05-04) (http://news.com.com/2100-1027_3-5205781.html)

Work on “anonymous” P2P systems continues (mostly outside of the US).
(2004-05-05) (http://www.forbes.com/business/newswire/2004/05/05/rtr1360236.html)

Hymn (formerly PlayFair), software for decoding Apple FairPlay DRM files, launches.
(2004-05-11) (http://www.nwfusion.com/news/2004/0511applegadfl.html)

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