Woodstock PDS (personal digital server) offers a variation on the media player/file-sharing theme:
- The Woodstock PDSTM is the first software combining a full-feature media player with powerful Peer-to-Peer file lending ability. Users of the Woodstock PDSTM software can easily play digital music, convert their CD’s into MP3’s, or listen to thousands of the best Internet radio stations. In addition, the Woodstock PDSTM incorporates a unique, patent pending, file lending method that allows consumers to legally and ethically remotely access and lend their digital media files.
Woodstock’s approach dramatically differs from the Napster and Kazaa like forms of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) software. Those products are purposely anonymous in nature, promote open file copying and have come under aggressive attack from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Woodstock’s alternative promotes the concept of P2P networks among groups of friends, family, and co-workers. In addition, the Woodstock PDSTM uses a method of file lending versus file copying. This method “lends” access to a file to a user, while at the same time restricting others from accessing that file. The patent-pending “lending” system neither requires nor permits copying of the file. Thus the original file never leaves the possession or control of the user serving the content.
….Woodstock’s software reinvents the personal website and takes it to a new level, turning any PC running Windows into a Personal Digital Server™ (PDS). The software automatically organizes and securely publishes a users’ digital media to the web. This enables a user to easily access files stored on his or her PC while at work or traveling. The remote access capability may also be securely shared with friends, allowing them to access selected files on the PC running the Woodstock software. This means that users can now easily access and lend their documents, music, photos, home videos and more.
The Woodstock PDSTM is a breakthrough in the way people play and lend their digital music. According to Woodstock Systems’ CEO and co-founder Jim Hoffman, “The Woodstock PDSTM was designed by music fans for music fans, unlike current media players from Microsoft, Real Networks or MusicMatch, all of which focus on their own corporate agendas. It fulfills the promise of digital media for the consumer while respecting the rights of the artists.” To date, over 20,000 beta testers have been using Woodstock PDSTM in limited release.
….Woodstock’s mission comes from its belief that music, photos and other types of media lie at the core of an individual’s identity, community and communications. According to Woodstock CTO, Jim Friskel, “What we watch, listen to and read defines more of who we are than our jobs or income level. These likes and dislikes become the building blocks of some of our most important relationships. The opportunity to enable the discovery of new music through the sharing of music has long been recognized as providing significant value to both consumers and music companies. The big problem has been how to do it legally and ethically, with proper user controls and without getting in the way of the user experience.”
Consumers have grown frustrated with the lack of relevant sources to discover new music and are impatiently waiting for the music industry to wake up to the new business and product opportunities provided by digital music. Woodstock’s goal is to cover the full spectrum of music fans, across all demographics and tastes, providing Woodstock users with great content while helping the record labels and artists expose and sell more music.
….The Woodstock PDS’s Key User Benefits:
Access: A simple way to access their digital media anytime, anywhere, anyway. Our new method of accessing digital media will inherently change the way people think about and use digital media.
Sharing: Users are now able to create a community centered around their digital assets. Groups can range from friends sharing and discussing music or photos, to co-workers collaborating on an important project.
Discovery: Access and community, in turn, lead to the discovery of new information, interests and ideas. Users can discover new music, or gain a better understanding of a business project through collaboration
The program runs on Windows 98SE and all later versions of Windows and is currently available in two versions. The standard version is free and includes an MP3 and CD Player, Internet Radio, and Music Buddy P2P file lending. The Pro version also includes CD Ripping and Burning along with other enhanced features. Both products can be downloaded at http://woodstocksystems.com/download.html
This would appear to be P2P with some DRM – it remains to be seen if the public will go for such restrictions.