Audio Xtract, Jones Soda

The Tangled Web, a weekly column featuring interesting music-related online destinations. This week: Audio Xtract and Jones Soda.

TiVO FOR WEB RADIO? New technologies for manipulating media continue to blur the line between copyright infringement and fair use, and one recent development that may threaten the Internet radio community is software dubbed Audio Xtract.

Supplied by St. Louis-based software marketer Jambalaya Brands, Audio Xtract allows users to record -- and subsequently mix, cut and edit -- music being played via an Internet stream. In other words, software owners can listen to Web radio streams, record the music and then "xtract" it into MP3 or other unrestricted audio files. The product retails for $50, or $70 for the advanced "professional" version.

According to VP of business & customer development Gene Schenberg, Web users "have been looking for a way to 'time shift' the great music now available on Internet radio ... And because Audio Xtract lets you record up to eight stations at once, you can literally fill your MP3 player with new music in a matter of hours, with no per-song fees."

Certainly, label execs and industry groups like the Recording Industry Association of America will soon be jumping out of their seats to condemn such technology as "inducing" clear-cut copyright infringement, but at deadline it is being legally sold without ramification.

And while it may seem like the current music-industry climate would try to quash Audio Xtract under the same principles as its war on P2P networks, the company may have a stronger defense at least in terms of precedent. Just last week, the FCC gave its approval to 13 new technologies that will enable consumers to make digital copies of television shows -- and even share them among multiple computers and storage devices -- under the scope of personal use.


A JONES FOR DIGITAL MUSIC: Following in the footsteps of Coca-Cola, albeit with smaller shoes, Jones Soda has opened a digital-music site at MyJonesMusic.com. The Seattle-based beverage retailer -- known for its unique labels and unusual flavors -- is focusing on indie bands for this venture, and the site's set-up allows up-and-coming bands to upload their own music files and bio information.

The site says Jones is not aiming to make money off the venture -- it is merely a marketing/branding effort on the part of the soda maker, and some of the bands will likely end up on future bottle labels.

Artists can simply share their music with like-minded fans and gain exposure through the Web medium. Jones views it as a way to further ingratiate itself within the indie music community.