MXP4 Interactive Music, the new Paris-based interactive-music technology venture, has secured $6.5 million from French venture capital firms Ventech and Sofinnova Partners in its first round of funding.

MXP4 is helmed by co-founder and chairman Gilles Babinet, who also co-founded mobile-music pioneer Musiwave.

Its new technology, which should be commercially available in six months' time, aims to help artists produce their own music, interact with consumers who want to contribute to the production, and change the genre of the song at the click of a mouse.

Initially, the music created this way will only be playable on PCs. In time, it will be extended to other platforms such as portable MP3 players.

"We got the idea when we learned that some people were fed up listening to the same song in the same way over and over again on their digital players," explains Babinet. "Basically, we want to replace the MP3."

Before they can use the technology, musicians will have to license it on MPX4's Web site for a fee. The artists then download MXP4's proprietary software to encode the music, and create music files.

Via the MXP4 digital player on the Web site, users can invite consumers to listen to the songs as they were originally produced. Alternatively, consumers can use the technology to re-edit the songs into a different genre or versions that they prefer.

Musicians can then ask online music stores to distribute the music in the new format.

MXP4 was launched in June 2006 with basic funding from Babinet and two his partners: the company's president Philippe Ulrich, a former record producer and minority Musiwave shareholder; and its chief technology officer Sylvain Huet, a former video-games developer. The prototype was completed at the end of October 2006.