Feeds

UK firm announces MP3 player

Empeg seeks to avoid the legal entanglements binding Diamond's Rio

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Even as Diamond Multimedia was winning judicial permission to sell its Rio handheld MPEG music player in the US, a UK firm was announcing a device of its own, aimed at in-car use. However, while Diamond's reprieve may yet be overturned -- it's only a temporary judgement -- Somerset-based Empeg believes its machine is safe from prosecution. Diamond's legal grief arose because the Recording Industry Associaton of America claims it promotes music piracy. Rio plays music encoded in the MPEG-based MP3 format and downloaded from the Internet. Currently, there are vast numbers of MP3 files available on the Net, almost all of them illegal copies of copyright material. The case against Rio hinges on whether it can be classified as a computer or not. If it can, it can legitimately be used to record, edit and play digital music files. However, if it's classified as a consumer music device, as the RIAA is arguing, it counts under the US' 1992 Audio Home Recording Act. In that case, the RIAA attempt to have its sale blocked until Diamond sets up a method of ensuring royalty payments are made to artusts -- in practice, that means a one-off levy on each machine shipped -- and modifies it to prevent the mass duplication of music files. Empeg has attempted to skirt the issue by essentially devising its Empeg MP3 Player as a computer dedicated to playing back music. The standalone machine is based on a StrongARM processor and runs Linux. It also contains 8MB of RAM, a 2.1GB hard disk which can hold up to 35 hours of music, and a docking system to allow it to be connected to a PC. The device will ship with software that runs on a host PC and converts and copies music CD audio tracks to the Player. Empeg claims the Player will not permit tracks to copied back to the PC or to other devices. However, an attorney with the US Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies, quoted on TechWeb, said that the Empeg Player, if sold in the US, would count under the 1992 Act, and thus be liable to the royalty levy. No wonder, then, that Empeg has its hopes set on a Diamond victory. Empeg plans to charge £699 for the player, which makes it rather more expensive than most in-car systems and so targetted more toward the audiophile market than the mainstream. In essence, hi-fi buffs will be able to replace CD multi-changers installed in the boot. ® Click for more stories

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.