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PUT YOUR MONEY IN A FREAKIN’ MATTRESS
A Tech Roundup By People Who Sleep With One Eye Open

HEY KIDS! REMEMBER THAT "ONLINE REVOLUTION" STUFF? FORGET IT.
Users of the latest version of Napster, Beta 9, will be able to go directly to CDNOW from the file-swapping application's interface. The built-in link to the e-tailer, which just happens to be a division of Bertelsmann eCommerce Group, Napster's new best friend, will presumably make it easier for MP3 enthusiasts to translate all that "sampling" of music they've been doing into that much-needed $18 purchase. "This relationship completes the music discovery cycle for community members who sample music on Napster and want to add that music permanently to their music libraries," gushed Napster head Hank Barry. "Now you see that we are good and nice and you'll stop kicking us, right?" Commented one 12-year-old, "Back when I had to click two buttons to get to an online CD store, I figured I'd just get the music for free and burn my own CDs. But now that it's only one click, count me in!" This synergy extends to the new Dave Matthews Band single, "I Did It," which is being promoted on Napster's home page by RCA.

TOO BAD BILL'S SQUEAMISH ABOUT THE WORD "SHARING"
Even Microsoft's got Napster on the brain, as evidenced by stories in ZDNet and The Register UK. The Evil Empire of Redmond reportedly has its gremlins hard at work on something called Farsite, a peer-to-peer app closer in structure to decentralized upstart Gnutella than to the centralized Napster. If it succeeds in devising a file-swapping architecture that has the appeal of its more famous kin, Microsoft will, of course, be able to bundle the app with its own Windows, the most popular operating system available. Then again, if the security holes in Outlook are any indication, Farsite could also be the most efficient virus-delivery system since the french kiss.

MAKE YOUR OWN CLEVER HEADLINE ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE'S MISERY
Those of you who thought online music sites were a sound investment will be stunned to learn that Audiohighway.com has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The rest of you can help us decide which glib joke to make about it. Do you like "Audiohighway.com is now roadkill on itself" or "Audiohighway Closed—Use Detour"? Write your answer on a $100 bill and send it to Tech Editor, hitsdailydouble.com. Here's our favorite part of the announcement: "Due to a dramatic downturn in the financial markets and, in particular, the market for Internet companies, audiohighway.com was unable to attract sufficient additional financing to maintain normal operations." As the saying goes, that one makes its own gravy.

HE'S GOT THE WHOLE PALM IN HIS HAND
Sputnik7 and Palm Pictures have inked a five-year marketing and promotion deal with MP3.com, which will include the licensing of Palm's catalog (including Rykodisc, Hannibal and Manga releases, among others) for the controversial My.MP3.com streaming service, as well as the creation of unique pages for featured artists. "Our partnership with MP3.com bluh-bleh-blah-blooby-blah," ventured Palm chairman and industry icon Chris Blackwell. "And don't bogart my spleef just because I'm giving a quote." Added MP3.com honcho Michael Robertson, "This licensing music beforehand sure does save a lot of trouble. Plus, since Chris shared that funny imported cigarette with me, I can't feel my feet!"

IN THE PINK
Shockwave will launch a Pink Floyd Shockwave Single, a brand-new visual format combining Macromedia Flash animationwith MP3 sound. The Shockwave Single, designed by renowned visual artist Storm Thorgerson, creator of the artwork for almost every Pink Floyd album cover, includes five tracks from the "Wish You Were Here" album, including "Shine On Your Crazy Diamond" and "Have A Cigar." EMI Catalog Marketing Group VP Marc Rashba noted the Single appears to be in 3-D on our computer screen after approximately 2,104,876 bong hits.

MP3 GOES PRO
The France-based Thomson Multimedia company is working to develop a new MP3 format, MP3Pro, which will offer similar audio quality in about half the file size. The new format will be compatible with existing MP3 content and players when it's available by the middle of the year. Thomson undertook the plan to stave off companies like Microsoft and RealNeworks, who are developing more efficient audio file formats. Thomson holds the patent rights to MP3 with Coding Technologies, who are developing the new, improved format. No word yet on whether Michael Robertson will change the name of his company.

GRACE GOES TO THE SWIFTEST
Content delivery platform Gracenote has inked an agreement and development partnership with PortalPlayer, Inc. to extend the company's CDDB technology to consumer electronics products incorporating the latter's digital music encoding and playback solutions. Hey, we have no idea what that means, either, but it sure sounds important. PortalPlayer previously announced they closed a $22 million round of financing, led by Vulcan Ventures, Inc. The company will use the funding to accelerate its marketing and sales programs, the continued development and expansion of its product and service offerings and to bribe us not to mention them ever again on our website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLACKOUT TUESDAY: HOW THE MAJORS RESPONDED
(6/5a)
HARLESTON, HABTEMARIAM LAUNCH UMG TASK FORCE
(6/5a)
SONY MUSIC SETS UP $100M FUND
(6/5a)
10K OPENS FUND TO AID BLACK YOUTH
(6/5a)
BLACK MUSIC MONTH: THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED
(6/5a)
WHAT NEXT?
The biz ponders action after some reflection.
GRAMMY SPECULATION
100% guaranteed to be somewhat accurate, probably.
BLACK MUSIC MONTH
...continues.
TRUMP'S IN THE BUNKER
Just to inspect it, though.
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