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Rolling Stone rocks the Net

The popular music magazine jams with RealNetworks for a streaming audio and editorial content music site.

The popular music magazine that defined the hippie generation has stepped into the Internet Age.

JAMTV /Rolling Stone Network, and RealNetworks today announced the launch of Rolling Stone Radio, a Web-based offering that combines streaming audio with editorial content about artists and musicians.

To hear the audio, users download the site's tuner, which then resides on the PC desktop. The tuner works in conjunction with the RealSystem G2 player, which provides the streaming audio technology.

After downloading the tuner, users choose between a number of music genres, including Pop Hits, R&B Hits, Modern Rock, Hip Hop, College Rock, New Wave Classics, and Guitar Rocks. Each of these "stations" feature a rotation of about 200 songs. Listeners also can link to news about the artists, as well as biographies, photographs, interviews, and discographies from JAMTV/Rolling Stone Network.

JAMTV chief executive Howard Tullman said that the tuner's accessibility on the desktop is essential to the new product's potential success.

"Instead of a place you have to go to, it's a service that's present in your environment all day," he said.

Rolling Stone Radio is supported by advertising agreements, as well as by commerce links to music and book vendor Amazon.com.

With today's launch, JAMTV/Rolling Stone Network and RealNetworks enter a space currently occupied by companies such as Spinner and Imagine Radio. Those Web radio stations also are closely linked to commerce, and feature links to partners such as Amazon and CDnow.

The official launch of the Web radio service today will coincide with RealNetworks chief executive Rob Glaser's keynote at the WebNoize conference in Los Angeles.