IBM, Toshiba Make Digital Music Pact

LONDON (03/14/2000) - IBM Corp. and Toshiba Corp. are to collaborate on the secure distribution of digital music, with their first products expected on the market by the end of the second quarter, the companies announced yesterday.

The companies will integrate digital audio players developed by Toshiba with IBM's Electronic Media Management System (EMMS), the companies said in a statement. EMMS was developed by IBM as a clearinghouse that tracks the sale of digital music content and manages access and usage privileges as designated by the music owner.

The new digital audio players will use the postage stamp-sized SD (Secure Digital) memory card format and Content Protection for Recordable Media (CPRM), a copy protection technology developed by Toshiba, IBM, Intel Corp. and Matsushita Communications Industrial Co. Ltd. (better known by its Panasonic brand name), the companies said.

The companies did not disclose retail pricing plans for the digital audio players, which will first be released in Japan, IBM and Toshiba said. Though the first integrated products will be audio devices, EMMS can also be used with video and multimedia and will be integrated into those types of products in the future, the companies said.

IBM, in Armonk, New York, can be reached at +1-914-765-1900 or http://www.ibm.com/. Toshiba Corp., in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.toshiba.co.jp/.

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