Makes 2.5 Million Song Previews Available In Windows Media

REDMOND, Wash., and SEATTLE, July 17, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. and today announced that, the leading provider of song samples for use by Internet music retailers, is now offering in Windows Media™
Format its entire catalog of more than 2.5 million song previews from more than 180,000 albums. Song previews allow online customers to hear samples from an album before they buy. Preview tracks from are available to consumers now at K-tel International Inc.’s Web site and will be deployed soon by 22 other major online music retailers, including CDNOW Inc. and Virgin Megastore Online.’s embrace of Windows Media Format for song previews offers music retailers and online music guides the superior audio quality of Windows Media and access to the millions of music fans who prefer the Windows Media Player. Microsoft is releasing the new Windows Media Player 7 today at midnight.

As an additional benefit for its retail customers that deploy song previews in Windows Media Format, is offering expanded sample selection in Windows Media Format only. Rather than limiting samples to the first few tracks of an album, will make available samples of all tracks on many albums, giving music fans more information about the albums they buy.

“We are pleased to enhance our service with the Windows Media Format,”
said David Lambert, president and CEO,
“This will help Internet music retailers offer the broadest sampling experience in a high quality format.”

“ and Microsoft are looking at ways to help build entertainment industry business models, and offering millions of secure previews of the latest music is a great way to promote digital content,”
said Dave Fester, general manager of marketing in the Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“As a leader in the industry,’s choice of Microsoft® technology validates the continuing demand for high-quality music in the Windows Media Format.” streamed more than 50 million song samples last month and currently offers samples to more than 90 Internet music retailers to promote the sale of music. Online outlets deploying the Windows Media-formatted samples include A & B Sound, AgentArts, Atomic Pop,, BuzzHits Inc., CD Point, Chapters Inc., E! Online, Edison Media, E-Trend Network, Got Merch, Hear Music, Jazz Steps, J & R Music World, Mood Logic, Music Beats,, and nsyndicate in addition to Virgin Megastore Online, CDNOW and K-tel.

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry’s only integrated rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies include Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation, and the Windows Media Software

Development Kit (SDK) for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in 24 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at .

About has established the standard for music sampling on the Internet. The company serves Internet music retailers with the world’s largest database of song samples, album cover art and textual data.’s lead investor is Generation Partners, a venture capital firm with over $300 million under management in Internet, technology and consumer businesses such as,, e-STEEL and Promatory Communications. Microsoft is also an investor in

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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