New tune on digital music
2 STUDENTS CREATE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Two students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a way to offer on-demand digital music on campus, without inviting a lawsuit
from the recording industry.
The students created an electronic music library that allows anyone on the MIT campus instant access to 3,500 CDs that span the musical spectrum from Beethoven to the Beatles to Beck.
The technology — dubbed the Library Access to Music Project, or LAMP — is part electronic database, part old-fashioned campus radio — with 12 channels. Students who want to program a channel go to the LAMP Web site to select a song or CD, which is delivered through the campus’ closed-circuit cable television network to a dorm room, student lounge or faculty office.
Only 12 students can choose tracks at any one time. Each student who requests a particular track becomes a D.J. for 80 minutes, then someone else gets to program. The LAMP system reserves 12 channels on the campus cable system. Anyone else on campus can listen in, selecting among the 12 channels.
The designers said they will release the software behind the system for any other university that might want to duplicate it.