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Nokia gets into the Asian music scene

Independent Artists Club launched to promote regional artists.

Homegrown music talents in the Asia-Pacific region now have a new platform to showcase their latest song creations. The Independent Artists Club Web site launched recently by Nokia aims to promote local artists in the region by allowing them to upload their songs on the Web for music fans around the world to enjoy.

The IAC program will launched in Singapore and Thailand first, before being rolled out over the next six months to selected Asia-Pacific countries including Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Australia, and New Zealand.

With each IAC country launch, selected local artists will initially be invited to upload their tracks. After which the Web site will be open to all artists for song uploading. The Singapore IAC site is expected to open up for the public to upload their songs in mid-December.

Music lovers visiting the IAC Web site can then rate, sample (30-second previews) and download MP3 tracks. The artists best rated for their songs will be listed on Nokia's IAC charts, which will in turn be distributed regularly to the industry. These artists will also be invited to perform at Nokia-sponsored events as well as IAC-related activities.

One of the key unique features of the IAC Web site is that fans can not only access it via PC, they can also surf the site via their handsets. The mobile phone platform, however, allows for only preview streaming and downloading of songs (data charges apply).

According to Lim Wee Khee, senior marketing manager for Nokia Singapore, uploading of songs is currently not available using the phone. She added that the tracks are all Digital Rights Management (DRM)-free and come in the popular MP3 format which is playable on most portable music players.

The only seeming catch for music fans is that you can download only 10 tracks a month for free if you own a Nokia device. Non-Nokia device owners are limited to five downloads per month. There are currently no plans by the Finnish company to charge users for additional downloads, so do choose your songs wisely. Then again, you can always sign up for more than one account.

In line with its Ovi Internet services platform announced earlier this year, Nokia has said it will be rolling out the Nokia Music Store in 2008.

(Source: Crave Asia)