According to a News.com story, Listen.com is preparing to allow users of itis Rhapsody music subscription service to download and burn digital files to CD-ROM for 99 cents per song. The agreement, made with both Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group, will give Listen.com non-exclusive rights to large portions of the music companiesi digital libraries. From the News.com article:
Several other companies, including major label-backed Pressplay and independent Full Audio, also have won limited rights to let consumers burn CDs from music acquired through paid subscription services. While none of the offers exactly match consumersi desires for complete, unrestricted rights to music, itis a critical step forward, analysts say.
A new version of Listenis Rhapsody service that includes the CD-burning function will be released next week, with the ability to burn custom CDs using songs from Universal Music, Warner Music Group, and nearly two dozen independent labels. While that leaves many popular artists out of the mix, it will include current favorites such as Eminem and Beck.
While these songs can later be "ripped" by subscribers and turned into MP3 files, Listen itself is not offering direct downloads through Rhapsody. It has the licenses to offer "tethered" downloads--similar to files offered by Pressplay and MusicNet which put restrictions on copying and transfering to other devices--but has decided to avoid this path for now, executives say.
More information on Listen.comis new plans can be found in the News.com story. Listen.comis Web site provides a wealth of information on the features of their Rhapsody subscription service. At the current time, Rhapsody software runs only on computers running Windows XP/ME/2000/98/NT.