September 15, 2004
New service will reduce music download time, copyright issues
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Purdue students living on and off campus will be able to download their favorite tunes legally and easily by the end of this month.
Purdue will offer Ctrax, the music service from Cdigix, an entertainment and educational digital media service provider at no charge to students in on-campus residences who subscribe to the university's ResNet Internet provider service during the 2004-05 academic year. The same music service will be available for a fee to other students, faculty and staff.
Students will have access to programming content and components required for service delivery over the university's local area network. The service is targeted to college students, but also will be available to faculty and staff. Ctrax offers about a million songs from the five major record labels and more than 70 independent labels in all major music genres.
"We think this is a great way for students to access the entertainment resources available on the Internet, but in a legal manner that reduces our demand for Internet resources," said Ernest F. Poland, director of University Residences. "We are offering it to students in University Residences on a free trial basis. Down the road, there may be a charge for the service in residence halls, but the rates are very reasonable."
Students living off campus and those who live in residence halls but do not subscribe to ResNet can use the service for the subscription price of $2.99 per month. Faculty and staff would pay $5.99 per month. In addition, all users will pay 89 cents for every song they purchase.
In establishing this agreement, the university has been working closely with the Campus Action Network (CAN), an initiative dedicated to facilitating the introduction of safe, legitimate digital music services to the campus environment. CAN, which is led by Sony BMG Music Entertainment and other record companies, works with a wide range of legitimate online music services, and helps institutions to create programs that uniquely fit their needs, as well as the needs of their student bodies.
The Ctrax service is available to all PC users. "Our goal is to eventually make it available to all PC and Mac users," said Mike Queen, senior director of sales and marketing at Cdigix.
The number and variety of songs available should satisfy the musical tastes of any student, said Steve Hare, associate vice president of security and privacy in the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology.
"Due to privacy issues, we don't monitor what students are downloading off the Internet, but observing the bandwidth used leads us to believe that music and video downloads are a large part of Internet usage on campus," Hare said. "This service will allow us to store a large volume of requested music on our local network so students won't have to use the Internet to access the music they want to hear."
Purdue students comprised nearly half of the digital music services committee that spent part of the summer researching the possibility of bringing a music download service to Purdue. The students involved said they are looking forward to the service start-up.
"I think it's a great alternative for students who are averse to taking risks and would like an affordable alternative to illegal downloading," said Vishal Bhandari, Lusaka, Zambia, a senior in economics. "I think it's a great selection of music. About one million tracks of music should definitely be enough to fulfill most students' needs. There might be some independent artists who wouldn't be available, but from what I understand, Cdigix will work hard to bring those artists to the students' selection."
Bhandari lives off campus, but said he won't mind paying the fee for the service as soon as it's available.
Jade Cloud, Gary, Ind., a recent English graduate with a specialty in technical writing, works as a technical writer for Information Technology at Purdue. She was one of several students who helped select the music download service vendor.
"For the majority of students, I think it will be very popular," she said. "Most of the music Cdigix offers is mainstream music that the majority of the campus population listens to. I felt we should choose Cdigix because they had a clear sense of community, as well as an idea of what students are looking for. They are very interested in what students have to say. They weren't here for the bottom dollar, but rather to provide a service for the students."
Formerly known as Cflix, Cdigix is made up of four components: Ctrax, which allows subscribers to download music on demand; Cflix, the video download component, which may eventually be added to Purdue's service; Cvillage, a community-based site that personalizes the site to each university and gives subscribers the opportunity showcase student-created media productions, which comes free with Ctrax; and Clabs, a digital supplement to classroom instruction, which will not be part of the service to Purdue.
The Ctrax music service is serving a growing number of colleges and universities, including the Rochester Institute of Technology, Yale University, Wake Forest University, the Ohio University and Marietta College, Queen said.
"Students can log into their local network, browse the complete music catalog and even get 30-second samples before downloading a song or making a purchase," Queen said. "Music is part of most students' daily lifestyle. We're providing an economical way to put an enormous catalog of music at their fingertips."
Campus Action Network is a music industrywide effort led by Sony BMG Music Entertainment and other record companies. CAN's principal objective is to ensure that students have access to safe, legitimate digital music services, and it is working to support the launch of legitimate music services on campuses around the country. CAN provides universities with introductions, information and support on a broad array of online music services. CAN does not recommend or endorse any one service or technology to institutions.
Writer: Reni Winter, (765) 496-3133, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Steven Hare, (765) 494-7820, email@example.com
Susan Yin, Cdigix public relations, 310-201-8800, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jade Cloud, (765) 496-3152, email@example.com
Steve Tally, Information Technology at Purdue, (765) 494-9809, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Queen, (720) 733-8880, email@example.com
Vishal Bhandari, (765) 409-4704, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ernest F. Poland, (765) 494-1000, email@example.com
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; firstname.lastname@example.org
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