MP3.com debuts next generation My.MP3

At the company's "Next Generation of My.MP3" event held Thursday in the US, MP3.com unveiled its Music InterOperating System (IOS) for connecting various segments of the music industry for the first time, MP3.com said in a news release.

The act of buying a CD, playing it on a stereo, and then putting that music in an online locker now consists of three separate transactions, said Michael Robertson, chairman and chief executive officer of MP3.com, in the release. He said MP3.com hopes to connect a music retailer with a device manufacturer and an online locker service so that only one transaction is required.

The system's components can be downloaded from the MP3.com Developers Network (MP3DN), a program and online resource for developers looking to give consumers access to personal music collections from a variety of Web sites or Web-enabled devices. MP3DN members can qualify to participate in a variety of free Web-based marketing opportunities to connect their products to MP3.com's customer base, the release said.

MP3.com's IOS components include the Instant Listening application-programming interface. Instant Listening enables consumers to access their purchased music immediately in a password-protected My.MP3.com online music locker before the CD arrives in the mail, provided all licensing rights have been secured by MP3.com, according to the release. The interface allows music-related electronic-commerce partners to integrate MP3.com's Instant Listening service into their sites.

Technology employed by MP3.com in its My.MP3.com service prompted a series of copyright infringement lawsuits last year. Warner Brothers Music Group, EMI Group, BMG Entertainment, and Sony Music Entertainment settled their suits against MP3.com for an estimated $US20 million each. Universal Music Group, the largest of the labels, continued its suit and earned a guilty verdict along with $US53.4 million in mid-November.

MP3.com pulled the My.MP3.com service offline until it returned in early December as a subscription-based service.

The company also announced Thursday, technology for integrating MP3.com's Beam-it software into developers' sites is expected to be available for download on the MP3DN site in the near future, according to the release. The Beam-it service lets consumers add licensed portions of their personal CD collection to an online My.MP3 music account.

MP3.com will also demonstrate software designed to enable the wireless delivery of digital music and will feature presentations from music technology experts and demonstrations of new MP3 devices and mobile music players.

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