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"Legal" Music Heads for Mobile Sharing
May 10, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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Mercora IM Radio is a unique industry licensed service. Unlike iTunes or Napster, you do not search or download songs. Instead, it operates much like a streaming radio service. Its members can stream music, much like a DJ, to other members of the Mercora network. If you prefer not to DJ your music, you can instead simply listen to what others are streaming.

It seems Mercora is based on the honor system, since the only requirement to stream music is its "ownership." In other words, as long as you legally purchased a CD, you are authorized to rip the tracks and stream them on Mercora.

"You can webcast any music that you own legally. These recordings must originate from an authorized source (either created originally by the artist or record label that owns the copyright), and are not unlawful copies that have been downloaded illegally or obtained from an unauthorized third party. "

How Mercora can differentiate between "illegally...obtained" MP3s versus MP3s ripped from a store bought CD is not defined. What is defined however is Mercora's new mobile streaming music service, dubbed "Mercora's IM Radio Mobile."

If you already belong to Mercora's premium account service for $3.99 or $4.99 (if you pay monthly), the service is provided at no extra charge. The IM Radio works on most "Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003-based devices, such as Pocket PCs and Pocket PC phones."

According to Mercora's press release, there are over 20,000 different streaming channels to participate on. In addition, Mercora claims to promote thousands of artists that may be familiar to most users, while being diverse enough to allow for new music discovery.

"IM Radio gives people instant access to a huge network of music, social interactivity features, and audio quality that is superior to XM or digital radio," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst, the Enderle Group. "The cell phone carriers and Windows Mobile device manufacturers are looking for a way to get in on the XM radio and the iPod craze, and Mercora provides a compelling way to provide rich audio content to users."

For a considerably less yearly fee, Mercora radio is more affordable than satellite radio. It will be interesting to see if a more user-interactive service such as Mercora can compete against satellite broadcasting.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Authorized Music Store :: Other
Technology News :: Software

Mercora Homepage.

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