RealTime IT News

Yahoo! Digital Is Born

Yahoo! Inc. Monday launched Yahoo! Digital,a new site which gives Yahoo! users the ability to watch and listen to Internet broadcasts, preview music, and download and purchase both secure and open audio files, including MP3.

The site also allows users to remix selected music tracks online, view on-demand video channels, interact with artists through Net Events, and browse a licensed music directory. And, starting Aug. 30, users will even be able to self-publish and sell their own music online - all of this thanks to a team-up with Beatnik, EMusic.com, and Liquid Audio.

As part of Monday's launch, Yahoo! Digital and Yahoo! Broadcast Services will feature an extensive concert line-up, including multi-platinum singer/songwriter Jewel, Grammy-winning Seal, current chart-topper Kid Rock, and more than a dozen other musicians and bands. Additional concerts will be broadcast (and re-broadcast) throughout August and September.

In addition to the concerts, Yahoo! Digital will deliver video and interactive Net events, including live chats, streaming of live and on-demand Internet broadcasts, and pay-per-view events. Eight channels of video content are also being offered, including western, horror, anime (Japanese cartoons), and fashion, with additional channels coming in the near future. Users can also tap video selections from the Yahoo! Digital front page, or access an extensive library of on-demand videos through the video archive, including movies, sports, children's programming, and classic television shows.

Through the audio portion of Yahoo! Digital, users have access to an extensive library of licensed music covering 16 genres, thanks to a new linkup with Liquid Audio. Users can preview music, download tracks, or purchase (through download) selected songs or entire albums. In addition to the directory, users can locate artists on Yahoo! Digital's Audio section which gives users a brief song preview.

Users also have the ability to enhance their audio experience through a plug-in from Beatnik, internet brainchild of landmark audio engineer and designer Thomas Dolby. From any dial-up speed, users can hear various sound effects, musical riffs, and brief song clips by dragging or clicking their pointer tool on links, graphics, and other portions of their screens.

The Beatnik plug-in also allows fans to turn their browser into a miniature sound studio. Each instrument is on a different track that users can boost, mute, solo or adjust the rhythm. The result is a rendition of the original tune, personally created by the user.

Finally, beginning Aug. 30, "Yahoo! Open Mic" will provide users the ability to submit their personal musical renditions online. Music enthusiasts with a Yahoo! ID can upload a track, graphic and song description, and will be placed into an archive of user submissions. Artists who want to take their self-published music one or two steps further through Yahoo! Digital can access the Internet Underground Music Archive, owned by EMusic.com, as well as Liquid Audio's Liquid Music Network.

IUMA provides unsigned artists the tools to create comprehensive Web sites and distribute their music online in open MP3 format or as physical CDs. Liquid Audio provides artists with the opportunity to securely sell their music through the Liquid Music Network. Additional information on the Yahoo! Digital self-publishing tools will be made available on Aug. 30.