Yahoo, Linksys link on wireless digital music

Yahoo and Linksys offer a new product that allows music to be streamed wireless from the PC to other devices in the home.

Consumers wanting to move digital music from PCs to stereo sound systems in the home wirelessly may be interested in a new product from Cisco-Linksys and Yahoo.

The two companies have developed a plug-in that allows the Linksys Wireless-G Music Bridge to complement Yahoo's Music Engine application, the companies said Thursday in a statement.

The plug-in is integrated into both the hardware and software components.

The Linksys wireless device, which retails for US$99.99, and Yahoo's free music management software, enable users to move digital music from their computers to other stereo devices in the homes over the airwaves, without the need to connect each device individually to a cable.

Although the Music Bridge connects to the home stereo system via a standard cable, it communicates with the PC via 802.11 wireless technology.

With a touch of a button on the Yahoo interface, users can send music to the Music Bridge, which then transmits it to the sound systems.

In addition to its distribution function, the Yahoo Music Engine allows users to store, share and play music as well as create play lists, listen to preprogrammed radio and burn CDs.

The Linksys-Yahoo offering reflects a trend in the home entertainment market to use computers as hubs for distributing music, movies, pictures, documents and recorded messages to devices scattered around the home.

Yahoo is offering a US$20 rebate on the Music Bridge if consumers sign up for a one-year subscription to its digital music download service.

European and Australasian pricing was not immediately available.

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John Blau

IDG News Service

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