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Sony to launch music swapping network

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 24 Aug 2005 8:47 User comments (7)

Sony to launch music swapping network Sony BMG has made history in the digital music world by teaming up with Playlouder MSP to make its music catalog available online. Subscribers can exchange licensed music in any birate they want freely. A portion of the subscription fees will be divided among Sony and other artists. Playlouder MSP is to supply the broadband connection itself. This is the same basic idea as used by radio where the revenue generated compensates the artists.
"PLMSP's unique position as the world's only licensed music ISP allows it to control the flow of music files over its network ensuring that all file-sharing traffic stays within its 'walled-garden'," the company said in a statement. "By controlling the network on which the music flows, PLMSP is able to effectively and accurately track and monitor the distribution of digital music through a sophisticated method of audio fingerprinting and return the appropriate share of revenues back to the rights owners."

To battle against possible leakage, PLMSP will deploy watermarks and "deep packet searches" software on the network. "We aim to prevent close to 100% of P2P traffic from going outside the MSP 'walled garden'", said Paul Sanders in an FAQ. More deals will be unveiled soon by PLMSP. The service will go live in the UK only next month, but similar services such as Shawn Fanning's Snocap will launch soon also. If such a service had become available after the original Napster shut down then potentially millions of dollars could have been made by rights holders and artists.

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7 user comments

124.8.2005 10:59

I don't know about anyone else, but i feel like there is a bit missing from this? A download limit say. If I am wrong then this is revolutionary. If the fees are reasonable, I for one will certainly join. For a guarantee off crystal clear digital music. The thing is, though, the thing that p2p offers that no other service does is the selection- special remixes etc- they will never be able to get revenues back to origional artists/ creators? can they? that's my piece lEtHaL_b

224.8.2005 13:19

Will the files you have already be watermarked, or can you keep those, and the artists will still get revenue? At first glance, this sounds like what i have been waiting for, but surely there will be some smallprint; like DRM on all downloaded files, or not MP3 (eg AAC or wma), or limited avaliability or tracks, or other limits such as download limits or limited access to other P2P networks (though i cant see how thats possible)

324.8.2005 14:20

Playlouder whether MSP, shop or .com seems to be on the up and up. At they speak of interoperability with existing P2P software and from what I read there, for the future as well. The difference will be that the searches and connections will only be allowed on the Playlouder network. The FAQ talks about a 1 Mbit ADSl connection. AS this is based in Britain, I guess we in the rest of the world will be cut out of the loop. As for formats, sells 192 to 320 VBR MP3s that are not, AFAIK, DRMed, but I suspect watermarked. This leads me to believe that with their filtering of traffic they will indeed be able to track the movement of files throughout their network. It does indeed seem to offer promise for those of us who use a variety of OSes and music devices. I find the provisional pricing to be reasonable at 26.99 GBP or about $50.00 U.S. for an unlimited usage model. Oh to maintain that!!! I will watch this with interest.

424.8.2005 21:09

But who is in controll, Sony BGM or Playlouder MSP? Sony has its own formats and its own agenda. It also says that it will be releasing its catolog. Sony BGM doesn't represent everybody. Thats not much of a selection to me. I would like to know more about this water-mark tech they plan to use. Will anyone be able to burn CDs or listen to the tracks on portable media players?

525.8.2005 1:50

Will anyone be able to burn CDs or listen to the tracks on portable media players?
Exactly! Once on CD then they cant track it anymore.... then you could just re-rip the CD.. So is this just going to be playable through there own software on a PC?

625.8.2005 3:39

This sounds very promising. i would be interested if the price was right. However, dont you think they might have been better designing this sort of network round BitTorrent? I mean, theres gonna be a huge bandwith cost aint there on a sort of 'traditional'-style P2P network. BitTorrent is soooo much better, & costs next to nothing to run (so i hear). Maybe it would be too hard to regulate the flow of music though, using BT. Or maybe the reputation its gotten due to piracy have put bigwigs like Sony off. Shame that. What u lot reckon?

72.9.2005 14:08

I stumbled upon AcidPlanet, a downloadable site run by Sony, that has kept me busy downloading for over 2 weeks and I've only scratched the surface. I'll admit I haven't tried to burn a CD but all else seems bog-standard mp3 file downloads. And the music is absolutely wack!

Daniel G McRae

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