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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Test Sales of Musical Content Via Satellite Set for Sept.
  • March 8, 1999 (TOKYO) — The WavelessRadio Consortium, which was formed by five companies including Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT), will start testing sales of musical content in September, via digital satellite broadcasting.
    In addition to NTT, other members of the consortium are Japan Digital Contents Inc., Victor Co. of Japan Ltd. (JVC), a digital satellite broadcasting company called Hummingbird Network Inc. and Dynaware Corp., which developed software for the system.

    The trial is slated to last through December.

    Users will be able to download musical content through special terminals called “Street Studio” at six locations, including record shops. The music will be played on the WavelessRadio device that is being designed especially for this purpose. The music content is sent to the terminals via digital satellite broadcasting.

    In preliminary tests, special software in a notebook PC will substitute for the actual player. The consortium plans to develop a mobile player using a 32MB or a 64MB flash EEPROM recording medium.

    The group is studying the idea of adopting a 1-in. hard disk device. The TwinVQ format developed by NTT will be used as the compression system.

    This system’s distinctive feature is to collect fees for each copy, because the special players are capable of billing.

    Users will purchase an “electronic ticket” in advance, to download encrypted music content through terminals at music shops. The content will be decoded for reproduction by a key implemented in the portable players.

    For copying music content, the receiver must confirm if an electronic ticket has sufficient funds for the content.

    After copying, the receiver’s ticket will have a purchase record such as the title of content. When the user connects to the terminal the next time, the purchase record will be sent to the shop’s billing data management center.

    (Nikkei Electronics)

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