Liquid Audio to let subscribers burn music

Liquid Audio and an EMI division plan to launch a service on Monday that lets subscribers burn tunes to a CD or transfer them to portable devices.

Redwood City, Calif.-based Liquid Audio said its service, dubbed BurnItFirst.com, will carry a collection of songs from EMI CMG, a Christian music company that is a unit of EMI Music. Among the artists will be Steven Curtis Chapman, Newsboys, Avalon and Jump 5. Liquid Audio said subscribers will be able to burn a song to a CD up to three times and export it to five different portable devices.

The BurnItFirst service joins a rash of online music subscription services, including Pressplay and MusicNet, which are all aiming to take the lead in a market that has yet to fully evolve from free file-swapping services.

Phil Benyola, a digital media research associate for investment company Raymond James Financial, said portability is going to be one of the "major issues" for getting people to sign up for these services.

"If they know that they can buy a CD online and burn it themselves instantly instead of having to go to the store to get it, especially if it's at a lower price point, then I think people will be willing to sign up" for the services, Benyola said.

News source: CNet

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