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Stream DRM-protected content from PC to phone

PC-based place-shifting technology lets users stream their own music to any MP3-playing phone.

Increasing memory capacity and reducing the footprint of mobile phones is akin to taking one step forward and one step back. The two sort of cancel each other out.

Instead of trying to do both, CMWare is introducing a service called myMobileMedia, a PC-based place-shifting technology that streams media content to MP3-enabled phones. Other companies, like Orb Networks and Avvenu, have the same idea, but myMobileMedia's hook is its ability to stream even DRM-protected content.

CMWare's proprietary technology allows all music files, including those purchased from Apple's iTunes Store, to be played without violating any DRM rules, CMWare co-founder Steve Ott said. When played on a phone, each song is identified by file extension. If an iTunes song is played, myMobileMedia remotely launches iTunes on the owner's PC for playback. The song is then captured and transcoded to MP3 or AAC+ format, and played, but never copied to the phone.

Users aren't limited to music--video and photos can also be streamed to Java- and Symbian-based handsets using the service. MyMobileMedia's technology also has the ability to continually analyze the network connection and adjust the stream accordingly to reduce interruptions in service.

MyMobileMedia is currently available in Europe, and will be launched in the U.S. as a subscription service this summer through mobile operators, or as a direct download. Though CMWare has not announced pricing yet, it has said there will be a free and premium version of the service.