Feeds

UK firm announces MP3 player

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.