Napster to use Loudeye tracking technology

In the multi-year agreement, Loudeye will provide digital "fingerprints" and associated descriptive data, or metadata, for Napster's membership service slated to launch during the third quarter of 2001, the companies said in a statement. The digital fingerprints will create a unique digital signature for each song in a music catalogue of more than 2 million tracks, the companies said.

By integrating the metadata from Loudeye, the fingerprints will allow Napster to verify the identity of files shared on its network, the companies said. Loudeye's fingerprints and metadata will assist Napster with tracking millions of music files on the company's membership service and then compensate artists, songwriters, music publishers and record companies, said Napster CEO Hank Barry, in a statement.

Napster already has received fingerprints and descriptive data from Loudeye and is working to implement fingerprint-based filtering technology, the company said.

Earlier this week, Napster announced that it had signed a deal with MusicNet, an online music distributor backed by AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann, EMI Recorded Music and RealNetworks. Napster is expected to be able to offer MusicNet's content as part of its new subscription service.

Napster has seen the number of files shared on its service drop 90 per cent since a federal court ruling three months ago ordered it to install filters to stop users from trading copyright content, according to a study from Webnoize Inc released earlier this week.

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