Son of Napster

Music fans are calling it the next Napster: a Web-based tuner that can search some 10,000 Internet radio stations and allow listeners to record selected tunes on their hard drives. Launched in March by Santa Cruz (Calif.) startup Audio Mill Inc., the Bitbop Tuner already has more than 100,000 users. CEO Bill Putnam Jr., 36, expects the 10-person company to avoid Nap-ster's copyright woes. "There is a history of personal recording with VCRs and cassette recorders," he says. What's more, Bitbop downloads can't be shared like MP3 files. The Recording Industry Association of America won't comment, but it has been filing lawsuits in similar cases. Stay tuned.

By Naween A. Mangi

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