Music Giants All Set to Launch

Musicgiants, a high-def digital music download service is all set to launch on Wednesday. Billed as a download service for audiophiles, the 15-person company will offer songs that are uncompressed and are encoded using windows media technology at 1100 kbps. In comparison, Apple’s iTunes and others like Real’s Rhapsody offer music at a compression rate which is a tad lower than the CD-quality, mostly to keep the file sizes down. Musicgiants’ business model is predicated on widespread deployment of broadband and speeds which can handle the big-phat downloads. So far, the service works only on Windows PCs

> “If you’re listening to compressed music using your iPod earbuds, you won’t notice much difference [from a CD],” says Scott Bahneman, founder and chief executive of tiny startup MusicGiants. “But once you play it on a good home stereo, the difference is huge.” Even an empty 40-gigabyte hard drive would hold only 100 CDs or so. A 1-terabyte drive from LaCie USA, may be more like it, if you’ve got $949 with nothing better to do. (Business Week)

The songs cost $1.29 a download, and you have to pay $50 a year membership fee. The Nevada-based company claims its sound quality is seven times that of other download services.