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Audio Mill set to go Radio Active on ‘Net

Technology allows users to record music from Internet stations

Audio Mill, a digital technology developer, is readying to roll out Radio Active Tuner on Tuesday, a TiVo-like software application that searches for and records live music tracks played on Internet radio stations.

Deploying its own free proprietary technology at RadioActive.com, the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based company, founded by audiophile Bill Putnam Jr., treats live audio broadcast streams similarly to how a VCR records TV signals.

The initial trial version searches roughly 1,500 Internet radio stations for tracks by users’ favorite artists, then records requested songs on the fan’s computer for personal use. Recordings are made in real time, meaning that a three-minute song takes three minutes to record onto a hard drive no matter what type of Internet connection the user has.

The service also enables Netizens to monitor a dozen stations chosen by Radio Active and listen to suggestions of other recordings offered by the program. In the future, Putnam said Radio Active will include e-commerce links allowing Netizens to purchase individual song tracks or entire albums.

While industryites expressed concern that Radio Active may bring up another Napster-like situation, Putnam dismissed such concerns, saying that recordings made from Internet radio stations are encrypted and tethered to the machine upon which they are recorded, thus protecting the songs from being distribbed to others.

Audio Mill, staffed by 10 employees, is backed by Chance Technologies, the investment and consulting firm founded by Richard Wolpert, a former Disney Online exec.

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