By Robert Menta- 1/20/2000
Here is an interesting switch. If you like listening to your tunes online, why not bring your tunes from offline and put them into cyber-play. That is what MP3.com's new service is suggesting.
My.MP3.com is now available for free and the idea here is one that's quite noteworthy. Using a new function called Beam-It (downloadable from the site), you can put a CD into your PC caddy and Beam-it will automatically digitize and upload the music for you into an account you create on the web site.
Once the music is uploaded, you can listen to your tunes from anywhere you have web access. This includes not only PC's, but any web capable wireless devices like cell phones and PDA's.
This, in essence, creates a sort of personal web radio station or web jukebox. The best part is this. Since you are uploading CD's which you have already purchased, the music is legal. There are no pirating issues because all you are doing is what the legal industry calls time shifting.
Time shifting is a concept that came out of the VCR and audio cassettes litigation battles two decades ago. In those legal procceedings, the court ruled that the transfer of music purchased on one medium to another for the convenience of the listener to play at a later time and place was considered a fair and legal use.
Now, think of all the people out there who drag their CD's to work so they can listen to music while they toil. Wouldn't it be great if these people could leave their CD's at home while they listen to the same music off of a web account? Same music, different delivery, big convenience, and the RIAA is not sending you letters claiming you owe them performance fees (as they are trying to do with straight-forward Net radio stations).
That is what MP3.com is betting on, a model that takes advantage of the user's right to time shift. And My.MP3.com doesn't stop there. Any music that you buy from MP3.com or one of several supporting sites will also be added to your account, even before you get the CD itself. It is another function of the site called Instant Listening which immediately allows you to add to your playlist music bought at these sites, which include Cheap-CDs.com, Duffelbag.com, and Junglejeff.com.
As we mentioned, My.MP3.com is free for now, but eventually there will be a
fee associated with this service. We say try it and see if it is all that it
is cracked up to be. If it does all it claims, we suspect you won't discontinue
it once they start to bill.
Copyright 2000 MP3 Newswire. All rights reserved.