MP3Rocket to Follow LimeWire, Quit P2P, Return as “Time-Shifting” Tool

MP3Rocket to Follow LimeWire, Quit P2P, Return as “Time-Shifting” Tool

Not the result of court injunction, but rather decision to use “even better technology” that will eventually allow users to search for, download, convert, and push media to the device of your choosing. Says it qualifies as “time-shifting,” the practice of making content viewing more convenient, and therefore protected by the landmark Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. ruling, aka the “Betamax case.”

Yesterday I mentioned how U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood had issued an injunction ordering LimeWire to disable the “the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality” of the famed file-sharing program.

Now it seems that MP3Rocket, a similarly Gnutella-based P2P program, will also be leaving that file-sharing network, though of its own accord.

“I wanted to give you a heads up that due to the LimeWire ruling, proposed US

Senate’s Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act” (COICA), the International Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and The proposed Canadian copyright reform bill C-32 MP3Rocket will leave the Gnutella network no later than Dec 15 2010,” MP3Rocket’s Paschal Rousseau told me late yesterday.

In its stead MP3Rocket says it has “better technology to use” that will harness the music selection of YouTube to deliver “even faster” MP3 downloads. Unlike LimeWire it’ll merely take advantage of content already offered by Google, and therefore complicate any copyright infringement efforts by the music industry.

“Over that last few months MP3Rocket has been working on new YouTube video to

MP3 downloading technology,” adds Rousseau. “That will allow us to replace our Gnutella functionality with even faster MP3 searches and downloads, with even greater selection than Gnutella offered.”

It’ll mean MP3Rocket will be converting from a Gnutella client to basically a media search and time-shifting tool that downloads and converts videos and MP3s. It’s not exactly groundbreaking, there are tons of Firefox add-ons that offer similar media capture and conversion features, but none are quite user friendly.

This is what MP3Rocket plans to change.

The new MP3Rocket beta allows you to preview and download YouTube videos as MP3s, and push it to your iPod with a single click of the mouse. It’ll get really interesting sometime within the next two months when it promises to begin allowing users to ability capture any video, Internet stream, internet broadcast, radio station, Hulu, etc.. It’ll also allow users to convert YouTube videos to desired formats other than MP3s.

Here’s a screenshot of a search for Prince. Notice the more than 7 pages of related songs available for download.

“Capture that stream capture to your computer, convert to the data to any desired format, place it on the device of your choice, all with one download click,” continues Rousseau.

MP3Rocket says the technology will be based on a “time-shifting” model that ought to make it immune to the sort of copyright infringement claims that other P2P programs have faced. Specifically, it cites Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., aka the “Betamax case,” in which the US Supreme Court ruled that “private, noncommercial time-shifting in the home satisfies this standard of noninfringing uses.”

“The Software allows users to ‘time-shift’ and record Internet broadcasts,” reads MP3Rocket’s Terms of Service. “Time-shifting allows a consumer view and/or listen to a work or sound recording that is publicly broadcast, to a more convenient time for the consumer.”

The only real downside to the new and improved MP3Rocket is that MP3 bitrate quality is limited to 192 KB’s in the free version. The pro version offers all the way up to 320 KB/s, but will set you back anywhere from $1.64 p/mo to $34.44 for lifetime access.

CHECK OUT MP3Rocket beta

Stay tuned.

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