Don't Touch That Dial Er, Keyboard

THE INTERNET AND ITS WORLD WIDE WEB ARE CHOCK-FULL of text and graphics. But when it comes to audio information, files can be extra bulky: Using a standard modem and telephone line, it can take 25 minutes to retrieve a five-minute clip of sound off the Net. But that's not stopping Progressive Networks, a Seattle startup, from bringing radio-like programming to the Net. Its software, RealAudio, cuts retrieval time to almost zero and lets listeners pause, back up, or fast-forward streams of Net-stored sound at the touch of a mouse button.

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