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Microsoft becoming a player in burgeoning online music business
(IDG) -- Microsoft took another step toward becoming a player in the burgeoning online music field Wednesday, saying it would buy MongoMusic, a provider of online music infrastructure.
The deal reportedly values the Internet startup, which was founded just over a year ago with seed money from Sony Music, at $65 million. Neither Microsoft nor MongoMusic would confirm the figure.
Redwood City, Calif.-based MongoMusic runs a Web-based music player that enables listeners to search for music based on the style or artists of their choice. It also offers recommendations based on a listener's preferences.
Microsoft has been aggressive in developing and deploying technology for managing the digital distribution of music. The field has attracted an increasing amount of attention as a result of a number of high-profile lawsuits, including cases against the popular sites MP3.com and Napster.
MongoMusic will convert its library to the Windows Media format. Microsoft says that format is more secure than the popular MP3 format, which enables digitized music to be compressed into small computer programs. The Microsoft format is being used in a Warner Music Group pilot program, announced earlier this week, which would allow for the online retailing of some of the label's most popular artists.
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