Media back up and running

For a $49.95 annual fee, though relaunched its virtual CD collection,, today after an seven-month hiatus.

As company CEO Michael Robertson said last month, the new version of the service is available in two forms. The first, free to the user but paid for by advertising, allows users to access up to 25 online copies of CDs they already own.

If they want more, they'll have to pay a $49.95 annual subscription, which lets the listen to as many as 500 online discs and avoid all the ads.

The relaunch follows the final settlement between and the major recording companies of their copyright infringement lawsuit. Most labels settled out of court, but Universal pursued the online music operation to the bitter end. will pay Universal $53.4 million in damages and music licence fees. It has already paid EMI, Sony, Warner and BMG around $20 million apiece. ®

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