NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt University is the first customer of a new music downloading service that will offer college students and others in the university community downloads of music by independent and unsigned artists at a low subscription fee for unlimited use.
FreshTracksMusic, co-founded by Vanderbilt alumnus John Wanzung and Konrad “Kip” Schaumloffel, has over a decade of experience discovering and working with artists who began their careers and built their fan bases on the college scene such as Creed, String Cheese Incident, Ingram Hill and O.A.R. The new service is the University Music Portal, and is launching this month.
“We feel that FreshTracksMusic is really complimentary with our already existing VUmix service,” said Matt Hall, assistant vice chancellor for Information Technology Services. “It will give our faculty, students and staff access to the up-and-comers who are setting up the future of music. It’s also very inexpensive.”
The $3-per-month subscription cost allows members access to an unlimited amount of unrestricted MP3s and the ability to use them on any digital music player or CD from either PC or Mac. VUmix, Vanderbilt’s downloading service through Napster, will continue to offer music downloads for a subscription fee ($6.95 per month for staff, and $16 for students for the academic year), plus a 99-cents-per-song charge to transfer to a MP3 player or CD.
“It’s clear that students want to download music, and we’re committed to providing this service conveniently, legally and affordably,” said Mark Bandas, associate vice chancellor for housing and residential education. “FreshTracksMusic is a significant piece of the puzzle. I think students will love it.”
Vanderbilt is the ideal school to be the first customer of FreshTrackMusic‘s specialized university service, Wanzung said.
“They’re a premier institution whose diverse, influential student body has a longstanding tradition of global leadership,” he said. “With unauthorized file-sharing systems continuing to flourish in the face of the entertainment industry’s growing legal action, FreshTracksMusic has created an innovative approach to digital downloading that is poised to help reconcile the great divide between today’s music industry and its most valuable audience, college students.”
Traditional file sharing problems such as bugs, worms, ad-ware, file corruption and dropped transfers aren’t an issue with legal downloads. In addition, FreshTracksMusic prides itself on introducing college students to new music.
“College music charts across the country are typically much more diverse and less congruent than those driven by mass media,” Schaumloffel said. “FreshTracksMusic aims to provide universities with an even more assorted selection of music and offer a way for their students and staff to experience as much or as little as they want for one low, flat fee.”
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Dan Sherman, (773) 529-6733