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MusicMatch 5.0 Features Personalization Service

MusicMatch Inc. Tuesday released its next-generation software, featuring a community-based music matching engine.

The new service is based on MusicMatch's proprietary matching engine and play records voluntarily uploaded by the MusicMatch user community. All logs are uploaded by MusicMatch Jukebox users who have chosen to "opt in" to the personalization service.

The MusicMatch matching engine analyzes relationships between these play records to provide MusicMatch Jukebox users with recommendations for new music. MusicMatch Jukebox users can choose to receive recommendations that match the music they are listening to at any given time, or recommendations based on their overall listening history. Recommendations are presented in the new "MusicMatch Guide," a window within MusicMatch Jukebox.

"Traditional, generic personalization engines typically rely on simple correlations that tend to provide recommendations lacking variety or which are dominated by the most popular artists," said Bill Caid, vice president of Internet Services for MusicMatch Inc.

"MusicMatch's service determines the more subtle and complex relationships that attract the same listeners to very different types of music. We believe that MusicMatch's recommendations are more eclectic, comprehensive and interesting than recommendations from any other source."

MusicMatch Jukebox integrates rich online artist and album information into its digital audio player. Through relationships with Muze and Intervu, MusicMatch allows its users to automatically pull up on-line artist biographies and album notes from Muze's Encyclopedia of Popular Music, along with cover art, 30-second sample clips and "Buy CD" links.

The online information is presented real-time to match music the user is listening to at any given time, or to match the recommendations that interest them. While the recommendations initially include published CDs available from online music retailers, downloadable free and "for pay" downloadable music from online music sites will be added in the coming weeks.

MusicMatch Jukebox 5.0 provides a listener-based chart service, which displays the albums and artists that people are actually listening to every day. This service is based on approximately 2.5 million play records MusicMatch receives daily from its international user community, and shows the 500 most popular albums and artists that people listen to every day.

MusicMatch Jukebox 5.0 adds a CD recording software solution. Users with supported CD-Rs can burn custom music CDs by defining a playlist through the MusicMatch Jukebox player interface, clicking the CD-R button, and then clicking "create CD."

Users can burn custom music or data CDs on the fly from within the jukebox without having to create intermediate WAV files or downloading and installing separate modules. The new solution supports MP3-to-Redbook Audio conversion and data CD burning, allowing users to create custom CDs that play in regular audio CD players, or data CDs that store up to 150 MP3 and Windows Media Audio files.

MusicMatch Jukebox Plus users can print CD jewel case inserts with artwork for custom CDs, and the new jukebox offers library/playlist printing, an improved equalizer, WAV playback support, and plug-in support for Rio, Nomad, Memcorp, Lyra, and Soulmate portable hardware players.

"We believe that music is one of the most under-consumed products in the world, primarily because it's so difficult for people to find and buy the music that matches their tastes," said Dennis Mudd, chief executive officer of MusicMatch.

"We address this problem by using the power of the MusicMatch community to provide our users with truly valuable recommendations for new music. With the new matching services, MusicMatch Jukebox gives people m