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TECH YOUR TIME, THESE STORIES ARE FULL OF INFORMATION
While Congress and Napster Wait, LoudENERGY, STMicroelectronics, J. River Drop New Products

ONLINE MUSIC LEGISLATION PUT ON HOLD
Six members of the House Judiciary Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property Subcommittee this week sent a letter urging colleagues not to push any legislation to regulate online music. The letter—signed by Reps. Howard Berman, D-CA, John Conyers, D-MI, Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, and Henry Hyde, R-IL, among others—said that legislation to regulate the "quickly evolving" online music marketplace would be premature, especially in light of new content deals between the recording industry and music publishers. Of course, Congress has a few other things stealing its focus currently, primary among which being possible anti-terrorism initiatives in response to the Sept. 11 terror attacks on America.

HAVEN’T WE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE?
Believe it or not, Napster is alive and kicking—at least, according to Napster. The file-swapping website issued a newsletter to users on Wednesday (9/19), claiming that it is "very close" to completing its new membership service, now due for a fall launch. The newsletter continues by asserting Napster’s success in discussing licensing with independent record labels, though the major labels and largest indies don’t seem as willing. To accelerate the process of determining copyrights, the company has created some unspecified tools that artists and rights holders can use to claim their works and be paid for them. These tools will be available before the launch of the new service. And while you wait, feel free to buy a lovely, collectible original Napster T-shirt for the kids.

THERE’S NOTHING SEXIER THAN ALGORITHMS
Semiconductor company STMicroelectronics announced Wednesday (9/19) that the company is developing a DSP-based decoder chip for Coding Technologies' new mp3PRO standard—and not a moment too soon! mp3PRO is, of course, the next generation of the MP3 audio coding standard, which reduces file size and enhances audio quality yet guarantees both backward and forward compatibility. The companies will implement this new algorithm for the MMDSP+ digital signal processor core. This 24-bit digital signal processor (DSP) is optimized for high quality audio processing applications yadda yadda extending battery life in portable players. Blah blah blah smaller file size, better audio quality and compatibility yadda yadda yadda Spectral Band Replication blah blah blah bit rate of 128Kbits/s is needed buzz buzz buzzzz same quality can be obtained using just 64Kbits/s. Buzz buzzzzz pop squeak monolithic silicon demo with RAM-resident software has already been blah blah audio coding algorithms hummmm buzzzz pop MMDSP+ 24-bit audio DSP core yadda yadda digital-to-analog converters and other functions. Naturally, very few external components will be required.

LOUDENERGY GETS THE LEAD OUT
LoudENERGY CEO and President Ruben R. Lozano II Wednesday (9/19) announced that the company has launched a premium suite of development programs designed to nurture an artist's career from the beginning. The LEAD (loudENERGY Artist Development) program is designed to help expose artists to industry veterans and provide artists with developmental support. LEAD members receive professional critiques and information on topics such as song writing, marketing, A&R and music law. The four month program begins at the start of every month and is open to the first 50 artists who sign-up on the loudENERGY website.

JUKEBOX HERO
J. River today released Media Jukebox 7.2, an upgraded version of its popular software that includes interface enhancements and additional support for CD writers. The new jukebox—recently rated #1 at CNET—is also the first version to support J. River's pending Music01 service, which allows subscribers to download files from each other. "(Media Jukebox) has grown into a sophisticated tool that any collector of media can use to organize and play music and other media files. We have users with upwards of 30,000 music files, so we know that we can satisfy power users. Our latest modifications make it easier to use for the novice," said J. River VP of Marketing Peter Sohal. "Because some of us have lives and don’t want to sit around, downloading 30,000 songs off the computer."

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