Music Choice Goes High-Speed


Digital audio provider Music Choice is developing a separate high-speed
version of its service for cable-modem customers.

The service, slated to launch April 1, will stream 40 of Music Choice's 54
commercial-free formats via satellite to cable-modem owners. To pick them up on
their PCs, customers would have to deploy Microsoft Corp.'s "Windows Media
Player 9" streaming process.

Music Choice will offer the formats free-of-charge to users, as well as to
cable operators that agree to distribute the service.

Music Choice has no operator agreements for the high-speed service yet, but
it will likely have some deals nailed soon, given that Comcast Corp., Adelphia
Communications Corp., Time Warner Cable parent AOL Time Warner Inc. and Cox
Communications Inc. are co-owners in the venture.

Microsoft also holds equity in Music Choice.

With this venture, Music Choice "has taken the next step" in making digital
audio a mass medium, CEO David Del Beccaro said in a prepared statement.

The company's primary service -- where audio formats are distributed to the
TV set, often accompanied by graphics and information about the music being
played -- is circulated among more than 25 million households nationwide. And a
weekly Concert Series TV show runs on cable and direct-broadcast
satellite systems.