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Will Virual Inventories mean real profits?

"Two trillion dollars in business per year will traverse the internet by the turn of the century." Nicholas Negroponte, (visionary founder of the Media Lab at M.I.T.) told the gathering of M.I.T. Media Lab Sponsors in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While Negroponte is generally considered an extreme visionary, he has the ability to take the extreme and make it seem plausible, if not, probable. The Media Lab has a reputation for accomplishing the impossible.

Virtual inventory is a concept that stands on the brink of revolutionizing the entertainment industry as we know it. Millions of selections of any entertainment medium can be stored and distributed without recording before the point of sale. Whether you deal in visual, audio, computer-generated mediums, or publishing, virtual inventory brings an entirely new concept to the strategy of marketing product.

The main concerns by labels & publishers have been how can copyrights be protect and revenue from royalties received?

Echo hiding from the Media Lab offers identification by information encrypting into the actual recording. This form of stegangraphy (the placement of a digital identification tag in one of a variety of media.)allows data to be encrypted into a synthetic echo that is not perceieved by the human ear. A digital copyright allowing a new level of bootleg protection.

Cryptolope is IBM's latest software offering to deliver your data. Encryption combined with an envelope truly describes this technology. Any copyrightable document can be enclosed in a cryptolope and sent safely. The receiver of the Cryptolope can see the title, a description or sample of the work and the purchase price. Payment would be by credit card for now and micro-payments in the future. Micro payment is an innovative form of payment which is inevitable. Customers can choose the amount of services they wish to purchase. This is made possible by metering technologies from Wave. With the WIN network a publisher of entertainment materials would post and price as many pieces as desired. Charges would be by the piece, chapter or reel.

Liquid Audio, which I experienced at the 1997 AES conference, delivers exceptional results in transfer quality and interface. With Geary Kirby driving this new venture we can only expect the audio quality that his other products have delivered. Geary Kirby was the man behind the Dyaxis digital audio workstation used in mastering labs and Post Houses. MC Hammer along with other major stars are using this method of downloading CD quality music.

CD R format will be a new source of revenue for the media manufacturing industry. Computer giant Bill Gates has prophesize a writable removable CD recorder in your computer that will play in your personal CD player. The media market will only benefit from these technologies.

With T3 lines and new data transfer or "push" technologies such as "Marimba" internet capacity will be greatly enhanched. The "Pipeline" would suddenly be enlarged without laying new "pipe". Burst transmission, Asyncronous Transfer Mode and similiar technology will expand the data flow and speed the process. The information whether ,audio or video, will flow at many times normal speed. This means retail outlets could operate without inventory, eliminating "shrinkage", allowing greater focus on customer service.

Will Virtual inventories mean increased profits and accurate accounting for the composer/publisher/record company???

Records companies should still be able to ship artists as before to retail on line outlets.

Virtual inventories will mean a revolution for the entertainment industry!!!



Texas Music Magazine   Vol. 10  No. 1  January 2001





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