MP3.com spins Net-only CDs

Once a customer buys a netCD, that music is automatically stored in their locker and can be transferred in MP3 format onto their hard drive, and from there burned onto a traditional CD, or moved to a portable device, using the company's Transfer2Device service. The netCDs are priced by the individual recording artists and will range anywhere from $US3.99 to $US30.00.

My.MP3 users will be able to store, access and manage their online music collection from any Web-enabled device, the company said.

MP3.com said that netCDs will do away with environmentally unfriendly cases and covers, and reduce shipping and handling fees, making netCDs attractive to consumers.

Additionally, MP3.com users will still be able to purchase Digital Automated Music (DAM) CDs, the company said, which are in both standard CD and MP3 formats, allowing them to be played on both computers and stereos. Now, however, DAM CD buyers will receive a free netCD version as well. DAM CDs are priced at $US3.99 and higher.

MP3.com's latest approach to online music comes after the company lost a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the Recording Industry Association of America for copyright infringement after the initial My.MP3.com service was launched.

The legal wrangling left the company dishing out hefty settlements to four out of the five big record labels, and plotting different ways to create cash flow.

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