SAN FRANCISCO (05/01/2000) - MP3 files have come to the rescue of many independent musicians who want to bypass the uncaring big record companies and market their music over the Internet. But this technology leaves a lot of work for all you potential listeners. You have to find and download the files--then you need an MP3 player utility to listen to the tunes.
And, if you want to transfer files to a standard music CD, even more steps are required. You have to convert the MP3s to .wav files and then write them to a CD.
Desernet Broadband Media Inc. has a better idea.
The company's new Music Net-Burner lets musicians bring their music to a CD--directly from your PC. Musicians can create prepackaged applets containing everything needed to create the music CD, without the need for extra software.
If you have a CD writer installed in your PC and a blank CD-R in the drive, all you need to do is click an icon and the music CD is automatically created. You can even print out a title insert for the CD jewel case.
Put to the Test
It's a unique idea, and it works. I tested it using the demonstration icon on Desernet's Web site. I put a blank CD in my Hewlett-Packard CD-RW drive and clicked on the icon. About four minutes later, the writer's tray popped out and I had a three-cut (8-minute) Euro-Dance Killer App CD that worked fine in my stereo system's CD player. (The music wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but that's another story.)Music Net-Burner's applet automatically converts the MP3 files to .wav files on the fly and writes them to a CD-R or CD-RW drive.
Applet access is free to users, although musicians who want to create them for their own Web sites need to purchase Music Net-Burner Wizard, which creates the applets.
The Standard version of the program will be available in early May. It will be free for a limited time and then will cost $49. This version is limited to creating applets of eight or fewer tracks.
A $199 Professional version, which will be available within a few weeks, will allow the creation of applets that use the full 74-minute capacity of a CD-R and will have additional features such as customizable "skin" graphics. A $650 enterprise version will offer animated graphics during download, the capability to place music into the international CDDB database, and MP3 studio software.
All versions of the software work with Windows 95, 98, NT, and 2000.
From Music to Data
Net-Burner is also available in a version that works with data that has potential uses for everyday PC users. You could, for example, use Data Net-Burner to create applets for sending digital photos to friends and relatives.
Available now, the standard version of Data Net-Burner costs $39 but is limited to creating applets with a maximum data size of 50MB. The Professional version, expected to be available in May, allows the creation of applets that use the full 650MB capacity of a CD-R. Also in the works is an enterprise version designed for unlimited corporate use. Pricing will be announced upon its release this summer.