MU offers students discounted file sharing

Cdigix will not work on Macintosh computers.
Thursday, August 11, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:19 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 4, 2008

The Internet has allowed MU students to download, burn and listen to almost any song they want to for years. This fall, MU will help them do it legally — for a price.

Cdigix, a music and movie service for college students, will soon be available at a discount for all MU students to use — but not on all computers. Macintosh computers and accessories, such as I-pods, are not compatible with Cdigix.

Beth Chancellor, director of Telecom at MU, said the university wanted to find a service compatible with Macintosh computers but couldn’t find such a service.

MU is joining 30 other schools in signing an agreement with Cdigix and will offer three of the four services that Cdigix offers.

Ctrax, Cdigix’s music service, has about 1.7 million songs available for download — ranging from songs by popular musicians to independent acts, said Laurie Rubenstein, a spokesperson for Cdigix. Students who subscribe pay $3 a month for unlimited access to these songs for as long as they remain subscribers. Students can also buy the songs outright for 89 cents.

Cdigix plans to introduce a service in the fall that will allow students to listen to the songs on portable digital music players that can play digital Windows media files without having to buy them, Rubenstein said.

Cflix, Cdigix’s movie and television service, offers pay-per-view movies: $1.99 for older titles and $3.99 for new releases. On-demand television programming is available for $5.99 a month.

C-Village allows students to share noncopyrighted music and videos, that they create, with others.

Chancellor said she thinks the service should be ready for MU students in three to four weeks, as soon as Cdigix installs the server and solves a couple other problems.

Students who use the service are can use their student charge accounts to pay for it, Chancellor said.

She said the Missouri Students Association and other students were responsible for pushing MU to provide students with a legal, relatively cheap option to access music and movies that could be charged to students’ accounts.

Deals like the one between MU and Cdigix are becoming more commonplace as similar companies, such as Napster and Ruckus, make lucrative agreements with universities and their media-savvy students.

Amanda Hunter, a spokesperson with the Recording Industry Association of America, said the association is aware of more than 50 deals between colleges and music services. According to a press release from Cdigix, that number is likely to rise with the recent deal between Cdigix and the University of California System and the California state system, which could potentially add 33 universities.

A 2005 Business Software Alliance survey of 738 students who download music found that only 11 percent pay for it every time and 50 percent of respondents never pay for music.

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