Liquid Audio spins out new music player line

Liquid Audio Inc. unleashed its new line of music player software this week, rolling out two direct-to-consumer versions, including a Plus version for "music enthusiasts," and one tailored for electronic equipment manufacturers.

All three new players are designed to run on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating systems.

The free consumer player, Liquid Player 6.1, allows users to stream, download, purchase, playback, and record digital music as well as burn CDs. Music lovers who want a little more pizazz from their player software can download Liquid Player Plus 6.1 at a cost of US$19.95, which offers users the ability of burning CDs faster than the free version, and also as MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) data CDs. Liquid Audio Plus 6.1 also allows users to move music to portable devices. Both are available via download at http://www.liquidaudio.com/player.

The company also unveiled its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) client, Liquid Player Special Edition 6.1, which can be customized to match a company's Web site and corporate image, Liquid Audio said.

Caught in the high stakes battle over the music player market, Liquid Audio is trying to gain more users by making agreements with OEMs.

Companies such as Palm Inc. and Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. are already shipping devices that include Liquid Audio players, and Yamaha Corp. just sealed a deal to include the software in some of their upcoming CD recorders.

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