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Intel music site showcases Pentium III

Seeking to boost the appeal of its high-end Pentium III processors for consumers, Intel this week will debut a music area on a Web site designed to demonstrate the chips' capabilities.

Intel, seeking to boost the appeal of its high-end Pentium III processors for consumers, this week will open a new music area on a Web site specifically designed to take advantage of the power in Intel's latest chips.

The music site, called Launch Live, is the second theme on Intel's Web Outfitter site, which the chipmaker is promoting as "the candy store of technology."

Due to launch later this week, the music site will include downloadable music, video interviews, background on artists, tutorials on using PCs to create music, and links to various music Web sites. The site also will Webcast a series of 20 live concerts by top artists, hosted by in a concert-viewing area created by Launch Media.

Launch Live includes both existing music content and material that was optimized for the Pentium III and created specifically for the site, Intel said. The site will be available in 13 countries and 11 languages, including, for the first time, Chinese and Japanese versions. The site also links to Internet radio from in each country, allowing listeners to tune in to opera from Italy, for example.

"There's so much happening with music that we have tried to organize it to give you broad exposure to what you can do," said Jami Dover, an Intel marketing vice president. "We want to enable the owners of our premium processor to take full advantage of their PC."

Of course, the effort has a purpose beyond offering a nifty destination for music-loving Pentium III owners.

"Our business model is built on selling high-end models and increasing the use of PCs," Dover said. By encouraging others to create music content that can be experienced only on Pentium IIIs, Intel hopes to increase demand for its chips.

Along with a Pentium III machine and a 56-kbps connection to the Internet, users have to install a number of plug-ins. Intel is offering the plug-ins on its site, or it will mail a CD-ROM to users to install the software on their own machines.

Music is the second "theme" for the Web Outfitter site; the first was a 3D search experience created with Excite. The next one, due in about two months, will be digital imaging, according to Intel.