Intel and Matsushita Electric have developed a set of software products for online music distributors aimed at helping record labels gain better confidence in electronic distribution.
The products will be targeted at makers of consumer electronic devices, such as portable MP3 players and online jukeboxes, as well as music download service providers including EMI and Universal.
The software will enable companies to take advantage of the growing electronic music distribution industry and yet keep in line with the industry's secure digital music initiative (SDMI) standard - a set of rules and requirements covering copyright law and online music distribution.
Julian Pye, an engineer at Matsushita, said: "The software helps us create an environment where labels can be confident in releasing content."
As online music providers embrace software that complies with the stringent SDMI rules, the record industry and device manufacturers can work together to develop new ways of distributing music, said Pye. Such ideas could include downloading music to mobile phones or downloading tracks to portable players from machines at record stores.
The software set comprises three products: a transfer agent, a music manager and an electronic music distribution (EMD) toolkit. The agent enables the transfer of content to SD Memory Cards - a flash memory storage device developed by Matsushita, SanDisk and Toshiba, and used in some portable audio devices.
The music manager encompasses all the functionality necessary to achieve SDMI compliance, including watermark screening and content protection.
The EMD toolkit enables EMD systems, such as those recently unveiled by EMI and Universal, to transfer content to the secure music transfer agent. Intel and Panasonic, Matsushita's consumer electronics brand, will use this technology to enable EMD systems based on Intel's software integrity system content protection product to transfer audio content to SD Memory Cards.
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