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There are several holes in their concept still, but they are the first group to effectively understand and implement the idea of replacing ONLY the distributor in this whole business of digital music distribution.

Perhaps, but they're still burdened by the need for copy-protection.

Digging through the RioPort site, it appears that they are offering a "Direct-to-Device" download service. Music files are sent through the data connection straight through to a music player or stereo component, with an access code that locks the file to that location. The files cannot be transferred out of that device.

The concept of dumb data receivers isn't new, and I recall reading a lot about it in the context of recordable DVD players. At one point, there was a lot of angst that manufacturers wouldn't create recordable DVD players, because the content providers would insist on absolute control over space- and time-shifting of broadcast programming. Hmmph.

While it's an elegant solution to a problem, I don't think that too many users will seriously contemplate paying a dollar for a song that can only be played on one device when they can get it for free elsewhere.

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