Phase one, due by the end of the year, would incorporate filtering technology in all SDMI-friendly players, whether portable hardware devices or software. At the start this screening would lie dormant, not inhibiting MP3 playback (which would still work within the first phase) or, for that matter, any other playback. According to a report in Billboard this week, this first phase would last as long as it takes for SDMI players to reach critical mass. How this will happen -- especially given the ongoing MP3 revolution -- is not at all clear. MORE >>
The battle lines for downloadable music are getting clearer as details emerge about music industry plans for a copy-protected alternative to the wildy popular MP3 music format. Participants in the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) scheme were presented with a possible two stage roll-out last week in Virginia.