Jook turns MP3 listeners into low-power broadcasters

Most music listeners are accustomed to having to share ear buds with a buddy to listen to other tunes, at least up until the point where somebody bothers to invent some kind of loud speaker system. But a company called Jook Inc. has developed a way for multiple earbud-wearing practitioners of the digital life to share music through a kind of broadcasting technology.

Jook's technology allows users to wirelessly transmit their music to people within a range of ten meters. A click of a button connected to the headphones will let users begin or stop broadcasting music, with a little emblem lighting up when transmission is taking place.

Users can then go home and check their Jook profile on a PC to edit their profile, music library, find out who listened to music, and view profiles of listeners, in an effort to use music listening as a means of social networking.

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"Jook and its partners all aim to make music a social experience again rather than have it confined to a personal music player," said Min-Liang Tan, Jook president and CEO, in a statement from CES. "The interconnectivity and social aspects of Jook are limitless and will have a tremendous impact on music and personal audio devices in the future."

Instead of simply selling Jook as a device for consumers, the company decided to offer it to the manufacturers to determine how Jook technology is utilized. Users who share music will not be able to download any content, as the technology only allows for content streaming.

Jook Inc. hopes to have its technology in the hands of users before 2009.

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