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Sony/BMG To Embrace A New Kind Of P2P

The LA Times has reported that, in a major departure from the recording industry's campaign against P2P file-sharing technology, Sony BMG is cooperating with Grokster - the very same file-sharing company it sued for copyright infringement -- on a new venture called Mashboxx that will offer songs as paid downloads.

Mashboxx is being headed by former Grokster president Wayne Rosso, who resigned last year to head Spanish P2P firm Blubster. While it is still unclear if Mashboxx will be a true peer-to-peer service, people familiar with the venture told The Times that it would likely only offers users who search for a Sony BMG track the ability to download an low quality authorized version of the song nthat includes an offer to buy the CD-quality version. The service will likely run on technology developed by Snocap, a start-up founded by Napster founder Shawn Fanning. The Times believes that impetus for the Mashboxx project came from Sony BMG CEO Andrew Lack, who has urged other labels to support the venture.

Apple Unveils New Photo And U2 iPods

From the Washington Post: "The Internet rumor mill had it right several weeks ago when whispers circulated that Apple was readying a retooled iPod music player and had entered into a special promotional deal with the mega-famous rock band U2...

"But for the time being, Apple's new toy may only appeal to a fairly high-end crowd, given that iPod Photo's price tag of $499 ($599 for a model with even more memory) rivals that of some desktop computers...

"'We think the right place is photos,' (Apple chief executive Steve) Jobs said. 'Everybody has a digital camera -- they're even in cellphones. Everyone has the content. And there are no copyright issues. We think music plus photos is the next big thing.'..

"Bono and U2 guitarist The Edge joined Jobs yesterday to unveil 'a special $349 black edition of the iPod, which has the signatures of members of the rock band... The company said it would begin selling a complete collection of U2's music for $149 next month from the iTunes Internet music store,' The New York Times reported."

hypebot: Couldn't Apple/iTunes use this new player to display cover art, creits, and photos related to a full "album" download? This would close the final gap between buying the actual CD and buying the download. They could even use it to deliver exclusive releated contact like a slide show of photos from the recording sessions.

Read the article from the Washington Post online here. Free registration is reuired.


Boutique booking agency Skyline Music who also operate music promotion and technology blog hypebot have opened a Los Angeles office in Sherman Oaks. Skyline’s eclectic roster of exclusive clients includes George Winston, Solomon Burke, Victor Wooten, Nancy Sinatra, Roger McGuinn and 25 others. The company, which was founded in 1985, will also continue to operate four offices on the East Coast.

Company president Bruce Houghton will be heading the LA outpost bringing Skyline’s aggressive approach to more West Coast based clients. “With six experienced agents plus support staff and only thirty clients, we have one of the lowest agent to artist ratios in the industry. This allows us to offer a more personalized and targeted approach than most of our competitors,” states Houghton.

“We also have a unique performing arts team and a new symphony division which provides many of our clients work in this very lucrative market,” he continues. “Arts venues are no longer simply about classical music and fine arts, and are increasingly becoming the venue of choice for adult audiences seeking all kinds of entertainment.”

AOL Music Becomes Industry Force

FMQB reports that "AOL Music has lately become the top online destination for music fans that want to catch the latest video or performance from their favorite artist. In fact, according to the New York Daily News, AOL Music will host the premiere of U2's new video for their single "Vertigo" later this week, exclusively online. By comparison, when the band unveiled their "Beautiful Day" video in 2000, they did it in an hour long VH1 special."

"AOL has become a very significant player in the launch of our new videos and new music," Atlantic Records Chairman Jason Flom told the Daily News. "They have a dedicated music audience and we can tell how many people are tuning in." According to ComScore Media Metrix research, AOL Music had 13.3 million unique visitors in the month of September. Factoring in AOL's other online music channels, the service reached almost 20 million music fans last month."

..."AOL Music aired an exclusive Usher concert the day before the release of his album Confessions earlier this year. Confessions sold 1.1 million copies in its first week in stores. "It dramatically increased first week sales," Virgin Records General Manager Larry Mestel said to the Daily News. Mestel was part of Usher's label Arista at the time of the concert special."

"Of AOL Music's increasing success, AOL's Harrison says, "MTV is playing fewer videos and radio has become more challenged. The landscape has changed and we've created a must-see destination for artists."

Read the full article here.


We know of at least two Clear Channel employees who got laid off today and hear rumors of a 20% accross the board staff reduction at the concert promotion giant...Several published Icm
reports have agency giant ICM up for sale... Rumors abound that an almost-major music agency is being bought by a film and literary agency that has been on a bit of buying spree lately...and another set of rumors have a third large agency shutting it's Nashville office. At the same time our own Skyline Music (who publish hypebot) is adding a Los Angles outpost.


If you need a lesson in how music marketing and promotion is effected by the internet and the immediate communication by and between almost anyone who has an interest or opinion watch how this Ashlee Simpson gaff on Saturday Night Live plays out. In any other era this would have been over a day or two after it happened. This who saw if (and cared) would have brought it up on Monday at school or work. Two thirds of their friends and co-workers would have said "Ashlee who?"; and most of the other third would have said "Who cares?".

But with the net her mistake, how badly she handled it, and what it means about her lack of talent have spread like wildfire. Check out any music or celebrity chat room. And if you missed it you can even see it over and over and over again on the net at places like RockAndRollBadBoy.com.

Her label defended her right after the mistake when they should have stayed silent like MTV did when Janet Jackson bared her breast. But no! Someone thought they could help fix it. Not anymore. The power is with the people now.

If her handlers were smart they'd have her sing LIVE at her scheduled appearance on NBC's Radio Music Awards. But no they won't do that because SHE CAN'T SING.

While we're at it...why isn't there any backlash pointed at Saturday Night Live for booking such crap?

And dare we hope that there will be backlash against other no-talent pop goddesses?

Hypebot also just had to share this actual post that we found when researching this from a fan on Ashlee's official web site. We guess for this young fellow it was never about music anyway:

I figure now that you are getting so much negative publicity, the type of guys you normally date think you're gross and would never touch you. That's ok, they're all assholes. I figure since you have Jessica's genes, you'll eventually become really really hot. If you live in California, or even if you don't because you can afford to move, please IM me at acalaneslax on aim.

Now, i've done many porn searches for you, and figure since I got no results you must be under 18. That's good, because I can buy R movie tickets so let's just say I'm 17.

So, that's acalaneslax @ aol. Please.

I love you and think lipsyncing is sexy and it's what real artists do. And hey, fuck your bandd (no fuck me actually) they're all assholes for playing the wrong song. I can be your band. I play guitar and drums and I rock and love playing girly songs. PLZ OMg

Ruckus Launches Own Network For Legal Campus P2P

Ruckus Network, a provider of legal digital entertainment services on college campuses, on Friday announced the launch of its network, with $9 million in funding from Battery Ventures and Shelter Capital Partners. The company announced the first schools to sign on as customers for its service are Alfred State College, Bentley College and Northern Illinois University. The Ruckus Network offers licensed movies and music, as well as a blend of national, local and university content. The company said it has licensed tracks from Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner and independent labels Sanctuary and IODA, and is in discussions with other labels and movie distributors. "The student demographic is the single largest consumer of digital media with unequalled access to broadband and computing power, said Ruckus CEO William Raduchel. "Yet surprisingly, they've had to resort to cumbersome and often illegal solutions to get their digital entertainment."

An XM Radio Walkman ?

According to a Reuters XM Satellite Radio is expected to to unveil a "wearable" Walkman-like device produced automotive parts and consumer electronics products maker, Delphi Corp.

In a note for investors, Kit Spring, analyst with Stifel Nicolaus said such a device would "also get investors thinking about future combinations of IPOD/TIVO-like satellite radios, which would increase the value of the monthly subscription."

Reuters also reported that one radio industry executive claimed that the device would include a satellite radio receiver with headphones and a hard drive enabling users to download XM content.

NY Attorney General To Investigate Radio Promo Practices

According to the New York Times, "Eliot Spitzer, the New York State attorney general, has recently taken on a procession of corporate powers from Wall Street analysts to mutual funds to insurance brokers. Now he is casting his eyes on the music industry, particularly its practices for influencing what songs are heard on the public airwaves."

"According to several people involved, investigators in Mr. Spitzer's office have served subpoenas on the four major record corporations - the Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, the EMI Group and the Warner Music Group - seeking copies of contracts, billing records and other information detailing their ties to independent middlemen who pitch new songs to radio programmers in New York State."

"The inquiry encompasses all the major radio formats and is not aiming at any individual record promoter, these people said. Mr. Spitzer and representatives for the record companies declined to comment."

The article also states that "since the big companies severed their ties to the practice, record labels - suffering from piracy and other financial woes - have sharply scaled back payments to the middlemen, and by some estimates pay them as little as $30 million annually."

"One promoter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Mr. Spitzer's investigators "are not going to find anything; they're 20 years too late."

"But questionable practices persist in a variety of markets and music formats," according to the Times.

Read the full article here. Free registration may be required.

A Punk Rock View Of The Apple / U2 Alliance

The punk view of the U2 / Apple Alliance from indy/punk site Aversion.com :


"Being a progressive, socially conscious band just doesn't pay the bills like it used to: U2 is set to announce a major partnering with Apple Computers.

Warning: If U2's decision to let Apple use its most recent single, "Vertigo" in its iPod ads leaves a bad taste in your mouth, just stop reading here.

The act announced it will release a special U2 edition iPod, which will come preloaded with its upcoming album How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and a smattering of hits. The act has also formatted its first single from the album to tie into Apple's iPod marketing campaign."

A Hopeful Review Of MSN Music

From the Washington Post's Rob Pegoraro's Personal Tech e-mail: "Since I reviewed Microsoft's MSN Music two Sundays ago, the site had its official debut last Tuesday.

"Along with the loss of the phrase 'preview release' from the site, what's new with it now? The bulk of the changes at MSN Music consist of various ways for potential buyers to get drawn into the site. As somebody who's always enjoyed aimless browsing in record stores, I have no complaint with these added features:

- A presentation of Billboard magazine's list of top-selling albums...
- A 'Map of Music' feature allows you to select a decade, then see cities highlighted on a map [see screenshot at right] that produced significant artists in that time...
- MSN Music's 'Listening Booth' allows visitors to hear new albums in their entirety in reasonably high-quality streaming audio...
- Finally, a 'Senior Year Hits' link reveals the, um, dreck that ruled the airwaves back in the day...

"MSN Music is also now advertising its first big-ticket exclusive, AC/DC...

"Unfortunately, this debut says more about the self-destructive instincts of the music industry than anything else. The band's work is only available as complete albums, not individual songs. I like these guys, but, honestly, 'Back In Black' is not Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' -- you don't have to listen to it in its entirety and in its exact order to appreciate it. The pricing of those albums, by the way, is also on the high side -- $10.89 or $12.87 a pop. That doesn't beat Amazon by much and vastly exceeds a used-CD store's prices.

"Lastly, the previously U.S.-only site now has some international reach, open for business in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Belgium, Korea and Brazil through various partners...

"With all these changes, MSN Music still has its unfinished aspects (a catalogue that's well short of the announced goal of 1 million tracks) and bugs (the 'This type of document does not have a security certificate' error message I get when I click the 'music.msn.com' link at the top of the site's home page). I'll keep testing this service, and at some point revisit it in my column..."

Register for the free Washington Post Personal Tech e-mail here.


Fuse, the nation's only all-music, viewer-influenced television network, and AG Interactive, the new media subsidiary of American Greetings Corporation, have announced their intention to jointly develop, distribute and market an interactive music experience, delivering content through virtually all communication platforms.

The alliance represents an opportunity for U.S. wireless carriers, handset manufacturers and advertisers to tap into Fuse's powerful audience of tech-savvy young adults, the fastest growing segment driving the exploding wireless marketplace. It also signals the strategic extension of Fuse's convergent music programming philosophy that has made a leading network in concentration of 12-34 year-old viewers and number one among mobile phone-owning teens.

One example of the plan which is already in place is Fuse's "Daily Download" television show, where viewers are rewarded with a special word of the day -- called the "D" word -- which they plug into the Fuse website receiving free, legal music downloads for their PCs, and soon ringtones and wallpapers for their mobile phones.

To drive the promotion to a broader audience, Fuse and AG Interactive partnered with Tower Records to engage consumers through their U.S. retail storefronts and leading online presence. The "Daily Download" promotions feature on-air appearances by acclaimed recording artists, such as Usher, Metallica, Eminem with D12 and Good Charlotte, giving Fuse viewers access to the artists' music through free downloads to their computers and wireless phones. It also gives consumers access to other unique content through television offers, the Internet and music retail.

By year's end, Fuse plans to explore wireless applications for all of the network's original interactive programs. Some potential features in development include music video dedications, photoblogs, text messaging, voting and polling, video game demos, music news alerts, local market concert and event updates, and special promotions.

CD Sales Up 10% Plus 59 Million Downloads In First Half Of '04

The Recording Industry Association of America just announced that music shipments have risen 4% in the first half of 2004, with CD shipments up 10%, but that this increase still does not counter the sales slump of the past several years.

"We are rising out of a deep hole and still have a long way to go," said RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol. "Piracy, both online and on the street, continues to hit the music community hard, and thousands have lost their jobs because of it." The RIAA's report also noted that nearly 59 million digital song downloads have been sold in the first half of 2004 from services like iTunes, Napster and OD2.


Wired.com reported Thursday that "amid the recent collapse of talks over the Induce Act in Congress, record labels are closing in on deals to enable several new peer-to-peer services to emerge -- with the sanction of major record labels that have so far derided P2P as a haven for piracy."

"At a panel held Wednesday by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, at least one record industry representative predicted that such sanctioned P2P services will start to proliferate in the next several months."

"We are going to see three or four of these in the very, very near future," said Mitch Glazier, senior vice president of government relations and legislative counsel at the Recording Industry Association of America."

"Glazier said the new services will be consumer-friendly and enable the portability that digital music consumers demand, all without running afoul of copyright law. "P2P technology is great," Glazier said. "It can be harnessed for good or harnessed for bad."

"After the panel, Glazier told Wired News that it's still unclear whether consumers will be willing to pay for P2P services, but companies such as Wurld Media and Snowpack are trying to wrap up deals with various record labels to try out new service models."

hypebot: How much do you want to bet that the major labels over-price, over-restrict and kill what might be a great idea.



HDTV On Your Cell Phone

The convergance of media devices continues as the NY Times reports that "miniature mobile phones, which already double as cameras, Internet devices and music players, are poised to merge with the largest of home appliances, the television. "

"The cellphone industry is working to build phones able to receive high-definition television signals over the air, even though HDTV has yet to make its way into most American living rooms."

"Texas Instruments, the largest maker of computer chips for mobile phones, plans to announce today that it is developing technology that will allow wireless handsets to receive hundreds of high-definition channels. The phones would not be marketed until 2007."

"Although Sprint and AT&T Wireless currently offer a service that allows cellphone users to watch live streaming from more than a dozen television channels over the cellular networks, the picture delivery is very slow and not much like a real TV viewing experience."

hypebot: "If they can watch TV they sure can stream audio which would mean that tens of thousands of internet broadcasts would be available anywhere there was a phone signal...."


Billboard.com reports that "U2 and Apple Computer Inc. are expected to announce next week that they have signed a deal to sell custom iPods. According to a source, the Irish rock band's upcoming album "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," due Nov. 23 via Interscope Records, will come preloaded on iPods that will be available the week of street date. Interscope, a unit of Universal Music Group, declined to comment; an Apple spokesperson could not be reached. E-mails from Apple chairman and CEO Steve Jobs and U2 members Bono and the Edge have invited members of the press to a "special event" scheduled for Oct. 26 in San Jose, Calif. U2's new single "Vertigo" is featured in current television ads for the iPod. The track is currently No. 2 on Billboard's airplay-based Modern Rock Tracks chart, and No. 44 on the Hot 100, which is based on both retail sales and radio airplay."

CD's For Cell Phones But @ A Hefty Price

From ZDNet News: "Singer Robbie Williams' greatest-hits album arrives in music stores Tuesday, as well as some phone shops, marking a first for the United Kingdom: It will be released, pre-loaded, on a mobile memory card.

"The album will feature video content as well as a 'CD-quality' version of the album...

"While a CD copy will cost about $16.22 from online outlets, the preloaded card will cost about $54.13.

"Carphone Warehouse and Williams' record company, EMI Music, are currently negotiating the release of further albums in time for the lucrative Christmas period."

hypebot: And they wonder why people pirate music?

Read this entire article online here.

Will Digital Distribution, Podcasting, and Satellites Cause A Creative Renaissance In Broadcasting?

From the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review: "The rules for the broadcast radio business -- the traditional 'terrestrial' radio -- are changing in many ways, with satellite radio... and the recent 'podcasting' phenomenon... letting you play news stories, music shows, comedy and more on your own time via your portable MP3 player...

"Can these new technologies bring a broader range of audio reportage than just public radio, local AM news and repurposed Big Media fare like ESPN Radio?

"The jury is still out, but radio junkies are filled with hope."

"'It's a ripe moment for radio,' said Jake Shapiro, executive director of PRX, an innovative online exchange for public radio shows. 'Several trends are converging: digital audio production tools are cheap and accessible; new distribution paths like streaming, satellite radio, digital broadcast radio, wireless and "podcasting" are emerging. And concerns over broader media consolidation underline the importance of independent voices and non-commercial journalism.'..

"Shapiro notes that the Net has become a much bigger part of the radio production process, with easier digital distribution, as well as radio Web sites giving pieces a longer shelf life...

"Beyond... smaller productions, there are now... podcasts from public radio station WGBH as well as KOMO 1000 AM news in Seattle.:

..."While podcasting is only in its embryonic stage, people are already looking beyond time-shifted radio on portable MP3 players. NPR's (Doug) Mitchell, for one, thinks that ubiquitous wireless Net connections could bring on-demand radio to a variety of devices, cutting out the computer as content server.

"'The next big thing is...I think eventually you'll be able to wirelessly download something, stick on some headphones, and sit with your iPod or phone and listen to a program,' Mitchell said. 'I think you'll eventually be able to do that. Handheld devices will keep shrinking. You can already download and listen to shows online.'..

"Blogger Russell Beattie, a technology consultant and programmer based in San Francisco, thinks that next-generation mobile phones will play a vital role in the wireless radio revolution.

"'Right now there are four million iPods, and yet there are going to be 650 million phones shipped this year alone,' Beattie wrote. 'How big will podcasting be when all those phones can be "podcast players"? Think you're at the beginning of a trend now? Just wait....The phone may not hold the thousands of hours of audio that a normal iPod holds, but it'll be perfect for the day's podcasts, no?...Convergence, ubiquity and connectivity are going to change society as we know it. Podcasting is only at the very tip of this."

Think about what this could means for music programs and promotion...

Read this entire OJR article online here.


Rueters reports that the single that topped this week's U.K. pop charts had the lowest ever sales for a No. 1 It's the latest indication that singles format is dying as Brits turn to downloading. Swedish DJ Eric Prydz bounced back to the top of the charts after his single "Call On Me" registered weekly sales of just over 23,000 copies.

The Official U.K. Charts Company which compiles the list, confirmed it had recorded the worst sales for a song reaching No. 1 and said it was looking at combining single sales with legal downloads from the Internet.

ASCAP Settles On Net Broadcast Fees For Commercial Radio

In a move that is sure to bring more over the air broadcasters onto the internet playing fiels, ASCAP has won approval for slightly more than $1.7 billion in royalty payments for music aired over the radio and streamed on the Web. The deal between ASCAP and the Radio Music License Committee, which represents 12,000 U.S. commercial radio stations, was approved by the courts Monday. The flat fee replaces the current royalty payment system that pays ASCAP about 1.6% of a station's gross revenues.

"Over $1.7 billion, fixed through 2009, indicates the true economic value of our members' music to the radio industry," ASCAP senior vp and director of licensing Vincent Candilora said. "We were pleased to have reached an agreement that establishes significant income increases for our members that they can count on well into the future and provides the radio industry with the planning information and simplified administration it views as critical for business success."

Starbucks Adds 45 More Hear Music "Media Bars"

The Starbucks coffee chain will expand its Hear Music "media bar" CD-burning concept into 45 Starbucks stores in Seattle and Austin, Texas, later this month.

Starbuck's expansion on the music front follows the establishment in March of a pilot Starbucks Hear Music Coffeehouse in Santa Monica. "We're going to be able to enhance the overall coffee experience for our customers," Starbucks Entertainment president Ken Lombard said. Added vp music and entertainment Don MacKinnon, "This is bringing the CD-burning experience into traditional Starbucks stores."

The media-bar includes self-service touch-screen stations created by HP. Using a stylus on the screens, consumers can access editorial content, listen to tracks and albums, burn CDs of existing albums or customized compilations from a catalog of 150,000 songs, create artwork for the CDs and pay for them. Pricing for the custom CD's is $8.99 for the first seven songs and 99 cents for each additional song.

You Read It Here First: Podcasting

Hypebot told you about Podcasting. Today the LA Times chimes in: "From the Los Angeles Times: "First came pirate radio, then Internet radio. But in the last month, a new way of circumventing the big, bad broadcast corporations has emerged: podcasts."

"Tune in to these blog-based homemade radio shows and you'll hear any number of things: a weekly hourlong program about board games; a daily amateur photography show hosted by an Australian computer programmer; regular people, unschooled in the ways of radio, talking about anything and everything the way real people talk — clumsily, with curses, dead air and all..."

Read the Full Article Here. Free registration required.

Two New Download Services Launch In US And Another Expands

- Canadian digital music download store Puretrax has announced the launch of a U.S. version of its online store. Puretracks offers over 700,000 songs as Windows Media 192Kbps downloads, sold individually for $0.99 or as $9.99 albums. The service also offers CD sales and streaming radio stations.

- In a more multi-facted approach, the F.Y.E. chain of music retail stores, announced the launch of a digital music download store and subscription service. Featuring the user interface and over 1 million song online catalog of MusicNet (a joint venture between Bertelsmann, EMI, RealNetworks, Sony Music and Time Warner), the F.Y.E. Download Zone is currently available at fye.com and through Microsoft's Windows Media Player 10. The subscription component of the service is offered for $14.99 per month. The company also will offer kiosks in its retail locations, beginning in the fourth quarter, that will let customers purchase tracks and have them delivered to their home PCs.

- The Orchard announced on Wednesday that it has signed new distribution and marketing deals with 11 independent record labels. New York-based The Orchard will digitally distribute tracks from Amphetamine Reptile, Laugh, Crash Music, Invisible, Tomato Records, Universal Egg, Pirate Entertainment, Amulet Records, Diesel Only, Napalm Records and Document Records to download services including iTunes, MSN Music, Napster, eMusic, Musicmatch and others.

WIFI: It's Everywhere. It's Everywhere

How cool is this? Wired News reports that "Dennis Stacey had one of the best seats at the Ansari X Prize launches, right alongside the taxiway where Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne rolled out to make history earlier this month. But the Montreal entrepreneur was at California's Mojave Airport not to catch a space launch, but to prove that he can bring internet access to people wherever they happen to be."

"Stacey, 30, is CEO of WanderPort Wireless, a 2-year-old firm that's established itself as a provider of Wi-Fi hot spots in business, boutique and luxury hotels in Canada and the United States. Now Stacey and his 15-person firm want to take wireless connectivity where it's never gone before."

"Today's the Day. WanderPort sent a small crew to Mojave to unveil the WanderPod, a rolling Wi-Fi hot spot consisting of a small trailer tricked out with a diesel generator, an antenna, juiced-up access-point hardware and a satellite dish that serves as a broadband data link. The target market: anyone who needs to get on the net from remote locations or places where infrastructure has been knocked out."


Microsft Unveils New Media Center 2005 To Mixed Reviews

As part of their bid to extend it's reach from your desktop into your livingroom and beyond, Microsoft yesterday unveiled Windows XP Media Center 2005.

As Hollywood Reporter writes: "In the future described by Microsoft on Tuesday, a single remote control will allow consumers to have their choice of movies, music, photos, television and other media wherever and whenever they want it."

"Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect, unveiled the Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 operating platform at the heart of this vision along with related products and services from dozens of other companies during an event at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, with assistance from Queen Latifah. Consumers will now have one interface that will direct them whether they're programming the software's DVR functions or choosing a movie to download", Gates told reporters.

The tech editors at CNet, however, gave the product only a "Good" rating and wrote that "Media Center Edition 2005 is the best desktop DVR app out there, but it's not yet ready to play hub for your digital home." Ms_masthead_ltr_1

Supreme Court Refuses To Hear P2P Case Even As Atty. General Ashcroft Promises To Step Up The Fight

FMQB reports that "days after the U.S. Supreme Court was asked to overturn a 9th Circuit Court of Appeal's decision from August that ruled in favor of peer-to-peer networks, the court sidestepped the issue. However, the P2P issue could resurface in the courts at any time. The record industry wants the ability to directly identify those who are illegally downloading music, as opposed to using the "John Doe" method of lawsuits. "That is crippling the private copyright enforcement that Congress envisioned as a bulwark against Internet lawlessness, and allowing Internet piracy to metastasize,'' Supreme Court justices were told in a filing by RIAA representative, attorney Donald Verrilli.

The Bush administration is in favor of changing the laws, but according to the Associated Press, it has encouraged the Supreme Court to wait on making a decision about the copyright laws.

Meanwhile, another member of the administration is set to kick off a major initiative against file sharing and piracy of music and movies. Attorney General John Ashcroft made an announcement today in Los Angeles of a new government initiative to fight the theft of intellectual properties, which the Los Angeles Times reports is costing U.S. businesses approximately $250 million a year. The new task force will not just crack down on individual file sharers, but international piracy crime rings."

XM Ads Net Subscriptions

XM made the jump today from satellite radio into your computer with the launch of their XM Radio Online service. New users can pay a monthly fee of $7.99 to access XM streaming online. For those who are already XM subscribers, they are offered a discounted rate of $3.99/month. Opie & Anthony will be offered for "a limited time" as part of the standard XM Radio Online package," according to FMQB.

"XM Radio Online gives people a brand-new way to experience the incredible variety of entertainment enjoyed by millions of XM subscribers nationwide," said Hugh Panero, XM President/CEO. "You get an amazing line-up of music and comedy, plus Bob Edwards and Opie & Anthony, two of the most-talked-about shows on radio today."

XM Radio Online can be accessed at listen.xmradio.com. XM and Dell have also teamed up to offer 30-day free trials of XM online with the purchase of selected Dell computers.