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Shockwave inks deals to energize Web site

Macromedia's online entertainment unit launches a new look for its Web site and unveils numerous animation and music deals.

    Macromedia's online entertainment unit, Shockwave.com, today debuted a new look for its Web site and unveiled numerous animation and music deals.

    The announcements could polish Shockwave's appeal to investors as the company prepares for a public offering later this year.

    The Shockwave Web site launched last summer and offers music, games and other entertainment content. The redesign is meant to look like a home living room with entertainment consoles. People may choose from several themes to create a preferred look and feel.

    The company said today that James L. Brooks, a producer and screenwriter, will create animated content for the Internet exclusively at Shockwave.

    The Web site is also bulking up its musical content with the new Shockwave Singles and Shockwave MixMakers. Shockwave Singles are full-screen cartoons made with Macromedia's Flash technology that accompany MP3 music files. The MixMakers application uses Shockwave and technology from music company Beatnik to enable fans to remix the guitar, vocal, drums and synthesizer elements of a song by pointing and clicking with a mouse.

    Beatnik makes Web audio software that allows people to remix music files online.

    Also on the music front, Shockwave said it is teaming with MTVi, the Internet unit of MTV Networks, which will provide Internet radio services and music content to the entertainment site. MTVi features music content from MTV.com, VH1.com and SonicNet.com.

    Shockwave also said it has signed a deal with Joe Shields, the creator of Joecartoon.com, which features Web animation content built using Macromedia technology. Under the deal, Shields will create 10 original animated pieces to debut on Shockwave.

    In December, Shockwave signed the creators of the hit animated TV show "South Park," Trey Parker and Matt Stone, to create original content for its site. Parker and Stone will make 39 two- to five-minute animated short programs for Shockwave, with the first scheduled to debut this month.