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"Today’s agreements enable Listen to be at the forefront as consumers use fast Internet connections and products like these to transform their PCs into home entertainment centers."
——Listen CEO
Sean Ryan
LISTEN.COM, MSN MUSIC:
LIVING IN STEREO
Deals With Hardware Makers to Allow Rhapsody Service, Microsoft Music Offerings to Blast Out of Your Home Audio Rig
Sure, there’s lots of great music to be found on the Internet. But let’s face it—moving that music off the desktop is key to kicking this broadband-entertainment thing up a notch.

With that in mind, Listen.com and MSN Music have hooked up with makers of gizmos to send music from PCs to stereo gear, and thus uniting consumers’ music—whether MP3 or 8-track—at the good old audio hearth.

Listen has entered into joint marketing agreements with JENSEN/Recoton Corp., Stereo-link, TERK Technologies and U.S. Robotics for its Rhapsody streaming subscription service. As a result, members will be able to send the music from their computer speakers to home audio components via wireless signals (in the case of JENSEN’s Matrix, TERK’s Leapfrog WaveMaster 20 and U.S. Robotics’ SoundLink) or USB connection (Stereo-link Model 1200).

Then they can, like, chill on the couch and smoke a bowl.

"Today’s agreements enable Listen to be at the forefront as consumers use fast Internet connections and products like these to transform their PCs into home entertainment centers," declared Listen CEO Sean Ryan. "Sure hope they don’t have CD burners."

Microsoft’s online locale MSN Music, meanwhile, has pacted with DigMedia to offer MSN content (including 60 radio channels) via the latter’s digital audio receiver, which makes use of Microsoft’s CE operating system and plugs into stereo gear without requiring a PC.

If the DigMedia device takes off when it becomes available "this year" (as a release promises), it’ll be a much-needed boost for the CE O/S, which went up against the Palm operating system in the PDA race and got its clock cleaned. This was a new sensation for Redmond, and one the software megacorp didn’t particularly savor.

"DigMedia’s offering will enable MSN Music listeners to access the MSN Music service from anywhere in their home," explained MSN Entertainment GM Benjamin Kilgore. "For example, check out the ‘Bill’s Voice’ channel. Listen to Bill’s voice. Is not Bill’s voice soothing? You will obey Bill’s voice. From anywhere in your home."

Now, if you’ll excuse us, the dulcet sounds of Montovani await, at last.

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