Digital Beat: AC/DC, The Cure, U2 …

Rockbox 2000 to feature streaming audio and video from Elektra artists.

Elektra Records recently launched Rockbox 2000 (www.Rockbox2000.com), featuring full-length streaming audio and video from Elektra artists such as AC/DC, Metallica, Third Eye Blind, the Cure, Staind, Ween, Pantera and Phish. In addition to the music, Rockbox 2000 also features behind the scenes video footage, digital stills from shows, tour dates and bios. …

U2 have launched a Web site (www.U2.com) that offers a look into the studio, via webcams, where they are putting together their upcoming album. A release date or title for the album, which follows 1997's Pop, is not decided, according to a band spokesperson. ... A study of Napster use and CD sales released on Friday (July 21) by Internet research firm Jupiter Communications found that Napster users are 45 percent more likely to buy more music than nonusers. The study refutes the Recording Industry Association of America's claim that Napster has taken a deep chunk out of CD sales near "wired" universities and says most sales declines in the RIAA-cited study occurred before the file-sharing software was released. The study concluded that sales are driven by Napster and similar services but that sales would increase exponentially if record companies were to team up with file-sharing systems. ...

The Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America announced Thursday morning (July 20) that they filed a copyright infringement lawsuit Thursday in New York against Scour Inc. (www.scour.com), a Napster-like file-sharing service whose majority shareholder is Hollywood mogul Michael Ovitz. Scour allows users to download high-quality copies of current films, such as "Gladiator" and "X-Men," as well as songs from such artists as Beck, Eminem and Britney Spears. The two entertainment-industry organizations are seeking an injunction, as well as monetary damages, against the service for allegedly distributing copyrighted material. ...

If you've got 12 hours to spare, check out broadcast.com's archived webcast of Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Family Picnic. The show featured performances by Willie Nelson & Family, Little Joe Y La Familia, Mustang Sally and the Blame, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Ray Price and more than a dozen other acts. ...

Microsoft Corp. announced Tuesday (July 17) the release of Windows Media Technologies 7, its new platform for recording, storing and playing digital music and video. EMI Music Group announced that on midnight of July 18 they will release over 90 hours of downloadable music in the new format, including work from catalog artists Blondie, MXPX, N.W.A and Sammie.

A new song from British rockers Radiohead is available from an unofficial band Web site (www.ateaseweb.com). The song, "Alligators in New York Sewers," was performed for the first time July 9 in Caesaria, Israel, and was posted shortly afterward as a RealAudio or MP3 download. ...

Web site SpinRecords.com is starting a music subscription service that will allow subscribers to download an unlimited number of songs by bands represented by the site. In a statement, the site said that the service, which launches July 15 and will cost $4.95 a month, will also provide access to live tracks and live or archived Web broadcasts of performances.

MP3.com has announced a partnership with Fun e-Business, an Internet kiosk company, to place Web-enabled jukeboxes in bars, restaurants and stores. Through the new jukeboxes, customers will be able to download digital music, as well as purchase CDs, merchandise and concert tickets through MP3.com, the companies said. ...

Emusic.com is planning to integrate more subscription-based services into its existing pay-per-download business, a company spokesperson said. Earlier this month, the site made a foray into a subscription model as part of a promotion with Hewlett-Packard. ...

Liquid Audio is providing free downloads for select live performances from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. For a limited time, fans can choose selections from Lonesome River Band, Jesse Winchester, Tim O'Brien and Judith Edelman, among others. ...

Those who missed Radiohead's June 15 concert at Teatro Tivoli in Barcelona, Spain, can download the entire show in RealAudio at http://members.aol.com/nodata1/webcast.htm. The concert also can be downloaded from Napster. ... Web site Riffage.com has bought 1500 Records, an imprint formerly owned by the Interscope/Universal label group. Under the new business model, artists signed to 1500's roster — including techno-rock act God Lives Underwater and hip-hop group Ugly Duckling — will split the net profits on album sales. ...

Music by the Chemical Brothers and Air is available to send through Egreetings, the Web-based greeting-card service. The Chemicals' beats can be heard on a "Block Rockin' " birthday card, which uses the duo's hit "Block Rockin' Beats" (RealAudio excerpt), and a "Hey Boy Hey Girl" general greeting card. Air cards will feature the songs "Sexy Boy," "All I Need" (from their 1998 LP, Moon Safari) and "Playground Love" (from their recent score for "The Virgin Suicides"). Cards are available at www.egreetings.com by clicking on "music scene."...

Hole have posted more than 50 MP3 files on holemusic.com. The songs include live versions of such songs as "Celebrity Skin" and "Malibu," as well as a studio version of "Asking for It" with guest vocals from Kurt Cobain. ...

Those who can't attend WOMAD USA, to be held July 28–30 in Seattle, will still be able to see and hear the music. Mainstage performances will be webcast by the World Entertainment Network, with streaming video available at either wen.com or womadusa.org. Events on the other four stages will be available for download from the same sites, with interviews and commentary. ...

Lookout! Records, home to pop-punkers the Donnas, Mr T. Experience, Bratmobile and old-school surf-rockers the Avengers, has inked a deal with EMusic.com, to make its entire catalog available for download. Fans can purchase or simply sample MP3s, including tracks from early 1990s Rancid precursor Operation Ivy and early Green Day material. ...

San Francisco classical label New Albion Records has formed an alliance with PlayJ.com to distribute titles from its catalog over the Internet. New Albion, considered one of the leading independent publishers of contemporary classical works, will offer excerpts of more than a dozen CDs from its 100-plus album catalog including recordings by Henry Cowell, John Cage and Terry Riley. Those excerpts can be downloaded direct from PlayJ's Web site. ...

Epic Records is allowing musicians to use the Internet to send demos to its A&R department. Artists can upload their music at www.dealwithepic.com. ... MP3 retailer EMusic.com has begun selling work from independent label Koch, which offers albums from bands such as the Supersuckers, Johnny Dowd and the Kinks. ...

Rock band the Crosswalk, recently dropped from Hollywood Records, are allowing fans to decide whether their music deserves to become an album. The band has posted its recordings, which they obtained from their former label, on their Web site (www.thecrosswalk.com), allowing visitors to vote on whether the music is good enough to shop around to other labels. ... Reckless Kelly, two-time Austin Music Award winners (for Best Roots-Rock Band) recently completed their third album, The Day. No word yet on the release date, but anxious fans can download two cuts — "Come On Over" and "Lonely All the Time" — from the band's Web site (www.recklesskelly.com).

— sonicnet.com staff report