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Kazaa Adds Pre-Installed Ringtone Channel

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Sharman Networks Limited launched Kazaa v2.6, the latest update of the world's most popular file sharing software, on November 19. The new version includes a pre-installed Ringtone Channel, which will provide revenue to major record labels and artists by offering Kazaa users over 3,500 monophonic and polyphonic mobile phone ringtones for purchase through the Kazaa application. The ringtones available include tracks from the Top 10 UK, US and Euro charts.

This latest version of Kazaa also introduces advanced features that make browsing, trying, buying, promoting and selling downloadable content easier, including the option to run 24 multiple searches at the same time, access to streaming previews of licensed content, single click purchasing, Kazaa Kapsules and Magnet Links.

Through The Ringtone Channel, Kazaa's estimated 60 million users worldwide can buy licensed mobile phone ringtones using a global payment system that takes into account the different networks and licensing requirements in each country.

According to Nikki Hemming, CEO of Sharman Networks, "Kazaa users are already downloading and buying mobile phone games through the Air Arena Channel. The Ringtone Channel expands Sharman's mobile content offering by providing thousands of licensed musical ringtones, screensavers and logos for download through Kazaa. The mobile and wireless platform is a rapidly growing and exciting marketplace."

Key new features and technologies in Kazaa v2.6 include:

Kapsules: a collection of multiple individual files digitally packaged together as a 'single click' download. "Kapsules are like buying the 'CD case and booklet', rather than just a music track," said Hemming. "They're about delivering a unique entertainment bundle in high quality digital format." A Kapsule can include music, exclusive footage of live performances, lyrics, tour dates and images from the same band or artist. Equally, computer game companies can include game guides and hints, and movie distributors can include 'behind the scenes' footage.

Magnet links: a powerful promotional tool offering significant bandwidth savings to content providers. Kazaa v2.6 will enable users and content creators of all types, such as record labels, musicians, artists, photographers, and software developers, to promote and sell their content at around 20% of the cost of traditional website distribution. Consumers benefit from a greater variety of content that can be downloaded faster and more cheaply.

With Kazaa v2.6 installed, clicking on a magnet link in any web browser, email or document will initiate a file search and download via the Kazaa application directly to the user's computer. A magnet link can be created simply, then pasted into emails or websites for public or targeted promotion. This will allow a broader range of content creators and distributors to leverage the bandwidth efficiencies offered by peer-to-peer distribution. Existing audio, games, software and video content partners have experienced reductions in server loads as high as 94% by using Kazaa peer-to-peer distribution.

This is of particular significance to distributors of high volume or larger sized files such as high-resolution video and PC game content where bandwidth costs have been an impediment to wide-scale online distribution in the past.

Sharman Networks has also developed a simple magnet link publishing tool to assist content creators at all levels of technological understanding.

Multiple simultaneous searches: Searching in Kazaa v2.6 is now much faster and more efficient. Users can run up to 24 concurrent searches.

"Single click" purchasing: Kazaa v2.6 users now have the option to preview selected licensed audio files in streaming format before buying. Individual files can be purchased with a single click, making buying and selling downloadable content entirely seamless. "Altnet's secure payment system within the Kazaa interface is advancing in order to meet our massive distribution capability," Hemming said. "With improvements in this area we expect to unleash a great deal of purchasing activity."

Unique multiple licensing: securely wrapped files can now be offered to Kazaa users under a variety of different licensing terms. For example, the same file could be offered for different license periods, at a different price. According to Hemming, "Music download websites tend to offer tracks at a fixed price of around 99 cents. Kazaa's multiple licensing opens up a whole new world of targeted content marketing."

Kazaa v2.6 can be downloaded from — Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen