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CD-ROM Program Aims to Decrease Returns

In a bid to decrease the number of returned CD-ROMs, 42 companies including Apple, CNN, IBM, Intel, and Macromedia have joined The Interactive Multimedia Association's (IMA) CD Match program that aims to educate consumers about the configuration of their PCs and system requirements for CD-ROM titles.

The program has set a standardized labeling procedure for companies that IMA claims will inform consumers of the system requirements needed to run each CD-ROM title. The program also created a software application that gives consumers system information on their PC that can be compared to the CD-ROM label. Guidelines on coding practices and installation procedures are available to CD-ROM developers.

The program began as a result of the high rate of CD-ROM returns. According to analysts at Simba Information, only 6 percent of the 3,500 consumer CD-ROM titles made a profit because of returns. IMA officials say they expect the program to take off in time. "Anything will be better than it is now," said Steve Mitchell, director of systems information for IMA.

Program documents and beta software are currently available for downloading at the IMA site.