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TECH ROUNDUP…OR RETAIL SLUTS?

E-tailers Selling Their Souls And So Much More
SHOPPING WITHOUT THE THREAT OF THOSE DANGEROUS FALLING PRICES
Walmart.com is giving shoppers the chance to sample nearly every song from every CD they stock. The retail giant has teamed with RealNetworks, which will supply 30-second RealAudio samples of every song on every CD in Wal-Mart's extensive music inventory. In addition, more than 375,000 of the music samples will be offered in RealAudio 8, including titles from Walmart.com's top 100 CDs. Said Walmart.com VP of Business Development Greg Penner: "At Walmart.com, our goal is to create a great customer experience on the Web by providing our customers with tools to help in their purchasing decisions." Walmart.com is currently developing an automatic mechanism that will directly charge your credit card for every song you sing in the shower.

ROCK AS EASY AS 1-2-3
Musician's resource Tonos has partnered with Music 123 for the sale of musical equipment and merchandise on its website. The companies will offer a co-branded store in Tonos' "Own It" section. Additionally, Music 123 will feature the Tonos TC8 online recorder and mixer on its site. Said Tonos President/CEO Matt Farber: "Tonos is committed to offering music makers of every level access to the tools they need to hone their skills and further their careers. And charge them an arm and a leg for the privilege."

OLE TO DOWNLOADS
Matador Records
has struck a non-exclusive deal with Liquid Audio to digitally distribute its catalog. Former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus is the label's first artist to offer his music for downloads on the Liquid Music Network. Titles from Belle and Sebastian, Cat Power, Yo La Tengo and Mogwai will also be available on Liquid Music Network's more than 1,000 sites. Matador plans to offer digital downloads for $.99 per track or $8.99 per album.

Said Matador's Christina Zafiris: "Matador Records has been distributing promotional MP3s on our website for more than a year, and it was time to add paid digital downloads in the leading Liquid Audio format to our release schedule. Eventually, we'll even add artists people outside of college radio PDs are familiar with."

MP3.COM IN THE FLESH
"Mobilizing Your Music" is the theme of MP3 Summit 2001, MP3.com's fourth annual convention, which is set to take place July 12 and 13 at the University of California, San Diego. The summit will explore the evolution of digital music delivery beyond the desktop, including a two-day expo highlighting wireless technology and high-profile speakers and presentations yet to be announced. Said MP3.com CEO Michael Robertson: "Our Summit has evolved as the digital music space has grown and changed through the years. As in past years, we are organizing the Summit in order to provide a hub for the forward-thinking companies, individuals, technologists and artists working to eliminate the barriers between music and its delivery to consumers. And to raise rent money." Registration material is available at summit.mp3.com and includes a tour of La Jolla's nearby midget colony as well as a field trip south of the border to the Bambi Club in Tijuana.

LOTSA LYCOS LOVE
While spreading a nasty virus normally reduces a girl's popularity, tennis star Anna Kournikova has garnered her highest rating ever on the Lycos 50. For the week ending 2/17, the court nymph came in as the sixth most-popular search on the engine, thanks in part to the computer virus spread with her image. Valentine's Day was the most-searched topic as cyber-geeks looked for cyber-love. The much-anticipated Napster ruling brought the file-swapping service to second place, with competitor Gnutella ranking seventh. Dragonball, the Internal Revenue Service, Britney Spears, Taxes and Tattoos rounded out the Top Ten. Sites depicting Spears getting a tattoo with her tax money were conspicuous by their absence.

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