The Active Network


Microsoft and Alliance Entertainment to Bring All Music Guide Information To Millions of Windows Media Player Users
Windows Media Player 7 Is First Player to Integrate Alliance's All Music Guide, Enhancing Digital Music Experience and Enabling E-Commerce

REDMOND, Wash., and CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - March 27, 2000 - Microsoft Corp. and Alliance Entertainment Corp. today announced that Microsoft has licensed Alliance's comprehensive All Music Guide (AMG) database and will deliver extensive artist and album information from Alliance as an integrated feature of the next-generation Microsoft® Windows Media™ Player 7. Incorporating All Music Guide's rich information enhances the digital music experience for music fans and also makes possible seamless e-commerce opportunities for retailers.

The All Music Guide information is available immediately in the Windows Media Player 7 Technology Preview, announced separately today by Microsoft. The Technology Preview release is designed to give software developers and advanced PC users an early look at the next version of the Windows Media Player and is scheduled to be available for users of the Windows® 98, Windows 2000 and the forthcoming Windows Millennium Edition operating systems.

Windows Media Player 7, the first digital media player designed for everyday consumers, builds on industry-leading Windows Media technologies to deliver the best audio and video experience. The player makes it easy to enjoy digital media by bringing it all together in one place, offering one-click access to common activities and allowing personalized skins and visualizations.

"We are very excited to bring the robust content of All Music Guide to the new Windows Media Player," said Eric Weisman, president and chief executive officer of Alliance Entertainment. "The combination of the Windows Media Player's advanced functionality and AMG's outstanding music resource creates an exceptional music experience for the user."

The integration within Windows Media Player 7 of the All Music Guide information illustrates how the player enhances the digital media experience. When an audio CD is inserted into the disk drive for playing or recording, Windows Media Player 7 automatically retrieves album and artist information from the All Music Guide database via the Internet that goes far beyond simple album title and track listings. The comprehensive information includes album art, genres and styles, artist biographies, album reviews, complete discographies with individually rated albums, and similar artists and influences.

"The integration with All Music Guide is a great example of how the Windows Media Player 7 improves the digital media experience for mainstream consumers by making it easy to learn more about your favorite artists and to discover new music," said Dave Fester, director of marketing for the Digital Music Division at Microsoft. "The relationship with Alliance is also important because Alliance's fulfillment capabilities open up new commerce opportunities for retailers and music lovers who want to expand their libraries." Windows Media Player 7 is the first player to offer seamless access to All Music Guide.

All Music Guide is part of All Media Guide, the world's largest and most comprehensive entertainment information databases for music, movies and video games. The databases are a massive archive, combining information on ratings, images, titles and credits, with original written content that includes reviews and biographies. All Media Guide content is provided by an established international network of more than 600 staff and freelance writers covering current and historical titles.


  *   *