Monday, September 20, 2004

Behind the Music

Yahoo and Musicmatch: I was surprised to learn that "Thomson Multimedia is the largest investor in Musicmatch". Never heard that anywhere else on the net, in all my various travels. It does, as the author explains, account for MusicMatch's relatively pioneering offer of free unlimited MP3 encoding even in its unregistered, "free" version jukeboxes (as well as the MP3Pro encoding, I bet). However, I beg to differ with the author when he states that competitors must pay a licensing fee for each "MP3 encode". The larger licensees, at least, only pay a flat fee to be able to distribute a large number of encoders each year. Smaller licensees, AFAIK, do pay some amount per encoder distributed. But I haven't heard of anyone having to pay per MP3 file encoded, at least for consumer software. If that was the case, I suspect there would have been outrage from privacy advocates about MP3 encoding / "ripping" activities being logged and reported to a central authority.

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