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Observers of the subscription wars have long believed that ISPs such as EarthLink would be ideal vendors for online music services, since consumers already get bills from them to which sub-service charges could simply
be added.

FULLAUDIO LINKS WITH EARTHLINK

"Secure" Sub Service Offered Through ISP, and Other Riveting Online News
Online music service provider FullAudio, which holds licensing agreements with four of the five major label groups (Sony Music being the exception), has announced it will offer a subscription service via high-profile Internet provider EarthLink.

Each month, for $9.95, EarthLink Digital Music subscribers can download 50 out of more than 75,000 tracks that will be offered in "secure" Windows Media Audio form—unless they’ve opted to fork over $17.95 a month for up to 100 tracks. Free trials are available now.

Subscribers will be able to "sync up" their account on up to three PCs, and the service’s built-in player, "powered by Microsoft" and its digital-rights management (DRM) tools, will also play the tracks on their hard drives and CD trays. The player will also provide access to free streaming music videos.

More to the point for you record weasels who get the spins every time you see the word "online," users wishing to purchase music featured on the service will find easy links to Amazon.com.

"The EarthLink Digital Music Center was designed to provide consumers with a single, comprehensive online resource for accessing the music content they want, how they want, when they want it," proclaimed EarthLink VP Erika Jolly. "By tapping FullAudio’s extensive music library and industry-leading downloading service, we’re able to meet our subscribers’ digital music needs, while remaining focused on providing a high-quality EarthLink Internet connection. And let’s face it, how else are they going to get their porn?"

"FullAudio is pleased to provide part of the digital music platform for Earthlink," guffawed FullAudio CEO Chris Gladwin. "This partnership with EarthLink delivers on our goal of teaming with trailblazers that are dedicated to providing digital media services to their customers. And that ‘you’ve got mail’ greeting never fails to brighten my day."

Observers of the subscription wars have long believed that ISPs such as EarthLink would be ideal vendors for online music services, since consumers already get bills from them to which sub-service charges could simply be added. The question remains, however, whether the price points and restrictive "security" features, not to mention competition from free peer-to-peer services, will represent stumbling blocks to widespread adoption. Of course, since the Napster diaspora, most of the P2P services, frankly, suck.

And speaking of the sub-service chronicles, Sony Musiclub has stepped up as a distribution partner for both the VU-Sony venture Pressplay and Listen.com’s Rhapsody. The latter is the only service thus far to ink licensing agreements with all five majors.

Also, Liquid Audio has partnered with Roadrunner Records to launch a hard-rock service called the Vault. Subscribers will be able to burn tracks to CD.

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