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Music to DieCorp for?

Well you can’t say that these folks haven’t got ambition. In one of the most astonishing debuts on the world music market yet, a company calling itself DieCorp Ltd has announced the Musit system.. The two components of the new service are a portable, palm sized MP3 music player which incorporates a 5GB hard disk and USB connector, plus a – wait for it – satellite connected P2P file sharing network.

The theory is that users will buy the unit for $200.00, and then be able to access the free DieCorpNet Internet based P2P service and download music in real time (and using satellite, from any location). You tell it what you want by writing in the name of the song/artist using a stylus on the device’s handwriting recognition touchscreen.The unit will store up to 1200 MP3 songs, and have a Li-ion battery capable of 10 hours playback.

The network is apparently based around the Gnutella and FreeMusic (?) technologies, and therefore has no central database or other point of…ahem… closure. Details from the company’s Web site are sketchy on the exact working of the network, although the site makes no bones about breaking the back of the established music distribution industry. A ‘product review’ on there states:

New developments from DieCorp will make this long awaited withering away of the traditional music industry a kicking and screaming reality before they can say ‘but we make our living off this stuff’. All you’ll need to effortlessly bypass their all but complete proprietary control over our present music culture is the Musit device now in final production at DieCorp.

Now, if Hilary Rosen and her RIAA cronies are still alive and haven’t had a coronary attack as yet, there’s more. The company claims that it will use an undisclosed proportion of its projected $180 million first year revenues to fund artists and studios around the world to produce content for the system, ‘completely free of any DieCorp aesthetic controls.’ The blurb also claims that the company will freely release the technology to would-be Musit clone makers after the first year. There’s more details on the site, (click on Product Review).

Two quick and simple questions:
1) Who’s paying for the satellite connection (in fact which one are they going to use?) and
2) Who’s going to guarantee uptime with a pack of rabid, slavering, foam flecked RIAA IP lawyers suing the daylights out of the manufacturers and anyone else who moves to sell this stuff?

Have these guys been living in a cave for the 3 years they say they’ve taken to develop this system? Did they not hear about……sshh, whisper the name…


Update: Hmmm, something strange about their Web site, the beta test section hasn’t been updated since August 2000. Suspicious? Maybe or maybe not.

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