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Multi-mix digital music format launched

MP3 on steroids

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The Hungarians gave us Rubik's Cube, and now they are going to entice us with DI Music.

DI Music is a new digital file format invented by Hungarian musician Sándor Mester, aka MS3. Call it MP3 on steroids, if you will.

The idea is that throughout the recording process, musicians can explore an entire range of artistic possibilities without having to commit to a final decisive cut. During final mastering, several worthy takes are included, so music fans can listen to one song in numerous versions using a software player.

The artist records the music as normal using industry-standard production tools such as Logic, Protools or Cubase. Using the DI editing software, the different tracks are then arranged and categorised.

So far Swedish, Hungarian and French groups have released their songs in DI format, including the world music group Djoliba, the Swedish boy band Bobby's and Adam Thompson, winner of the Australian Music Awards. Conversations with British bands are taking place, according to a statement.

This autumn Digimpro, located in central London and backed by a raft of venture capitalists, will start selling the editing software. In the medium to long term the company plans to charge royalties from commercial releases in the DI format. The player, however, is freely available.

The distribution model allows for a variety of channels, says Digimpro CEO Rupert Evans. One is via downloads from the Digimpro web site, another is through a third party or by putting the files onto an enhanced music CD.

One shortcoming of the DI format is the sheer size of the files. The example Digimpro submitted at their web site is a staggering 37MB. "Smaller files will have more appeal," Evans admits. "But we have an intelligent encoding system, whereby loops et cetera can be encoded once and then played at different points." ®

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