Furthering its anti-piracy attempts, Napster said the latest version of its file swapping software includes acoustic fingerprinting technology which it claims will help build a system that more accurately identifies the music files that users are sharing.
Napster, which last month announced it had licensed the technology from Relatable, said in a posting on its website that it is releasing the software in compliance with a federal judge's order to block the free exchange of copyrighted songs.
The posting said: "In addition to bug fixes and other improvements, the new technology will enable Napster to more accurately identify files shared by our users."
The latest version, Napster 2.0 Beta 10, periodically scans the files its users are sharing and randomly singles out songs for fingerprinting. The program then uploads the fingerprints to the company's servers.
Napster will collect the information in a centralised database that the company said would help it create filters based on musical fingerprints rather than the names users give to them.
"As the technology available for the identification and tracking of music files has evolved extremely rapidly over the past few months, Napster has quickly embraced it in order to better protect copyright holders and improve our users' experience," the posting continued.
Users of previous versions of Napster are not required to upgrade, but new customers will be subjected to the fingerprinting process.
A Napster spokeswoman said the latest software release is only the first step in deploying the technology and could not say when it would be fully implemented.
A spokesperson for the Recording Industry Association of America said the group is pleased that Napster is announcing more and more steps toward compliance with the injunction.
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