Listen.com®, Inc. today announced it has selected NewTech Infosystems (NTI) to provide CD burning capabilities for its Rhapsody digital music service. The company also announced it has signed a CD burning license agreement with Naxos of America, the U.S. distribution division of the world's leading classical music label.
Listen.com will integrate NTI's CD-Writing Engine into the Rhapsody music delivery platform, enabling subscribers with CD-R/RW writers to quickly and reliably copy authorized tracks to CD. Unlike competing online services, Rhapsody will allow users subscribed to a CD burning package to create CDs at speeds of up to 48X (depending on the speed of their writer) without purchasing premium upgrades.
``NTI provides enabling technology to customers who demand state-of-the-art CD burning solutions. We're very excited that NTI's CD-Writing Engine became Listen.com's solution of choice,'' said David Yao, chief operating officer of NTI. ``Working with Listen.com gives us a premier partner in the online music market, and gives music fans an easy way to burn their favorite tracks.''
Listen.com's agreement with Naxos of America will enable subscribers to supplement Rhapsody's current ``Naxos Classical'' catalog with a new offering that allows them to burn a limited number of tracks from the entire Naxos catalog each month. This is the first CD burning license Listen.com has secured for Rhapsody and the first time Naxos of America has licensed burning rights to its catalog, which contains more than 2,500 titles and over 10,000 musical works. Under the agreement, there will be a window of time between a new title's retail release and the date when tracks are available for burning. Listen.com is currently negotiating with its other major and independent label partners to secure additional CD burning licenses.
``Today's agreement extends Naxos' relationship with Listen.com, the first company authorized to offer streaming online access to our catalog,'' said Vincent Peppe, Director of Business Development and General Counsel for Naxos of America. ``In addition to enjoying the highest quality streaming available on the Internet, classical music lovers who subscribe to Rhapsody will now be able to select a number of tracks to take with them wherever they go, making this great music service even more compelling.''
Consumers will first be able to utilize Rhapsody's new CD burning capabilities in May, when Listen.com releases Rhapsody 1.5. In addition to CD burning, Rhapsody 1.5 will introduce several other new features designed to enhance consumers' online listening experience. The company will announce more specific details on burning packages and pricing at that time.
``Listen.com chose NTI because its technology best fulfills our vision of adding portability to Rhapsody,'' said Sean Ryan, chief executive officer of Listen.com. ``Listen recognizes that consumers want to take some of their music with them, and our agreements with NTI and Naxos are important first steps towards meeting those needs.''