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On the Web: Fast and Free Music & Money for College

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RALEIGH — Several Web sites allow people to download songs without paying a penny. A Carrboro company does things much differently.

Music lovers love Napster. However, artists and recording companies do not. They say they are losing control of their property and money.

Along comesMusicPakfrom Carrboro. MusicPak wraps a security blanket around music or other media to protect it.

"Basically what we do is inject the media -- the interface and text, hyperlinks -- into a package that can be deliverable over the Web and that is secure," says Brent Lambert of MusicPak.

It is MP3-based, but users cannot play it with a standard MP3 player.

MusicPak allows artists and record companies to control their property.

"They can decide to give it away for free, such as what happens with Napster, or they can decide to limit it to a specific number of plays or a specific period of time," says Lambert.

Pictures, ads, coupons and special offers can be included in the MusicPak.

Lambert and his two partners are all involved in the music industry. They say they saw a need when their clients' music was being distributed without their consent, and losing money.

The group has been working on MusicPak for a year. Record companies and book publishers are already talking, and that could mean big bucks for the little Carrboro company.

A company calledFastAIDcould be music to the ears of college students.

Sign up is free and the site does not sell personal information.

After answering a number of questions, information about scholarship aid appears. It is fun and can pay off in a big way if you're looking for college help.

FastAID is free, and is one of the oldest scholarship search services on the Web.


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