The system and method permit the purchase of audio music files over the Internet. The PC user logs onto the vendor's web site and browses the songs available for purchase. The songs can be arranged by artist, music style, etc., as mentioned above. Further, the vendor can provide suggestions on the web site, directing the PC user to songs that might be desirable, based on that PC user's previous purchases, her indicated preferences, popularity of the songs, paid advertising and the like. If interested in a song, the PC user has the option of clicking on a song to "pre-listen" to it--hearing a 20-second clip, for example. If the PC user then wishes to purchase the song, she can submit her order by clicking on the icons located next to each song/album. The order will be reflected in the shopping basket, always visible on the screen. As the PC user selects more items, each and every item is displayed in the shopping basket. At any point in time, the PC user can review her selections,...
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1. A system for digitally distributing music comprised of tracks and albums over the Internet to a plurality of the Internet users, comprising:
- means for assigning a key to a track for downloading to a user;
- means for inserting the assigned key into said track prior to the downloading;
- means for transferring the same assigned key to said user prior to downloading said track;
- means for combining the transferred key with additional data to generate an identifier that uniquely identifies a customer's computer; and
- means for verifying that said key extracted from said track matches information that is based on the generated identifier to enable the playback of said track.
2. The system according to claim 1, wherein the assigning means assigns said key that is unique to said user in correspondence to a username and password combination.
3. The system according to claim 2, wherein said user enters said username and password combination to access said track in a database prior to the assignment of said key.
4. The system according to claim 3, wherein said track is downloaded only if said user purchases said track prior to the downloading.
5. The system according to claim 4, further comprising means for storing said identifier in said user's computer for subsequent verification of the authorized downloading of tracks.
6. The system according to claim 5, wherein said additional data uniquely identifies a hardware/software component of said user's computer.
7. The system according to claim 6, wherein the inserting means inserts the assigned key into a header of said track.
8. A method for digitally distributing music comprised of tracks and albums over the Internet to a plurality of the Internet users, comprising:
- assigning a key to a track for downloading to a user;
- inserting the assigned key into said track prior to the downloading;
- transferring the same assigned key to said user prior to downloading said track;
- combining the transferred key with additional data to generate an identifier that uniquely identifies a customer's computer; and
- verifying that said key extracted from the downloaded track matches information that is based on the generated identifier to enable the playback of said track.
9. The method according to claim 8, wherein the assigned key is unique to said user in correspondence to a username and password combination.
10. The method according to claim 9, wherein said user enters said username and password combination to access said track in a database prior to the assignment of said key.
11. The method according to claim 10, wherein said track is downloaded only if said user purchases said track prior to the downloading.
12. The method according to claim 11, further comprising storing said identifier in said user's computer for subsequent verification of the authorized downloading of tracks.
13. The method according to claim 12, wherein said additional data uniquely identifies a hard drive of said user's computer.
14. The method according to claim 13, wherein the assigned key is inserted into a header of said track.