Settec, Inc., a Korean copy protection provider, has recently introduced new version of Alpha Audio copy protection, called M3 Type, and signed to apply its technology to upcoming music albums released by number of Korean record labels. Settec will be showcasing its improved and new version to the music industry at Popkomm 2002, Cologne, Germany.
Settec’s new M3 Type is consisted of audio session for music tracks and data session for custom player program. While this idea has been applied in the past, Alpha-Audio M3 Type adopts new technology; PC playing is enabled through direct access of original music tracks, not through compressed encrypted audio data files. “The benefits for this direct access feature are many. Previously, technologies have apparently used compressed audio files in the data session for PC playback, taking away disc space and shortening playing time. Now the disc space is considerably reduced to a minimum to accommodate only Settec’s custom player program. In addition, since M3 Type uses the original music tracks for PC playing, sound quality when played through PC will be the same as the original,” said vice president of Settec, Donggyoo Kim.
Alpha-Audio M3 Type adds various other options. Digital signature and authentication process in the protected disc acts as an authentication key to connect to DRM (Digital Rights Management) service server. With P2P (Peer to Peer) option, legitimate CD buyers with same interests can interact together in a chatting room where one-way streaming service by labels are made possible to transfer artist’s additional information or advertisements. And, M3 Type’s multimedia option enables artist’s music video or video clips to be played from the same music CD—also protected with Settec’s DXD multimedia copy protection technology. Settec proclaims its aim is to bridge the current music market into the future one by providing extra values and benefits to customers and by securely protecting these digital contents.
Lastly, M3 Type offers encrypted mp3 files encoding to personal PC from the original disc without internet connection. With this feature, consumers can listen to music on PC without the original disc and they can bring the CD and listen on their favorite music players such as car stereo or CD/DVD player. The encoded mp3 files cannot be transferred nor played in other computers.
New Alpha-Audio M3 Type is offered to key music labels worldwide last month for test purpose. Settec also recently completed upgrade of production system by Eclipse Data Technologies for worldwide service of Alpha-Audio.
Kim added, “The focus of M3 Type is in optimizing consumer friendliness and making extra digital contents service possible. Through maximizing playability and keeping the same sound quality, we eliminated sound quality issue and minimized disc space needed for the service of Alpha-Audio. The data track, composed of player program and options, is protected by Settec’s patented software copy protection, Alpha-ROM. This means that when anyone tries unauthorized CD-to-CD copying, the copied disc will not be the same as the original. This is a prerequisite for the M3 Type options to be effective. I hope that M3 Type will initiate extra contents service for legitimate buyers of music and encourage consumers to purchase CDs. In addition, it can eventually open new markets for labels and connect them to online business.”