From March 95 issue

Just the beginning...

Of course, music isn't the only thing that can be digitally distributed over the Cerberus system. Anything that you can digitise can be sent down the wire, and that means video (inevitably) and a wide range of other digital products - it's all up for grabs.

"Cerberus is a little bit of the model now because this is probably the route other companies are going to go through," says Ricky. "Unless they're bridged to reality, to existing technologies, they're useless. At heart, we're a software house, or musicians, which is why we're in this business. We'll be putting out a video playback system, we'll be doing other products, material using the spoken word, for example: Chelsea poets, Malcolm X's speeches, Ghandi's speeches - probably John Major's speeches, if anyone wants to listen to them. Literally across the board. We've still got that open Internet nature."

So when's it all going to happen? When will we see Cerberus live on the Internet? "Everyone asks that," Ricky laughs. "We could have launched four months ago, but if we had I wouldn't be here talking to you. We should have it on magazine cover disks by the beginning of March. What we're doing at the moment is described as bleeding edge technology, but most of our problems haven't been with the technology or the software. The only problem we've had has been educating an industry that's been built on the sales of physical units. Now I think they're happy. This company was started up to ensure artists and writers were paid quicker, and more, than they're getting at the moment. If I went for a free-for-all, it might sound like a funky idea, but the reality is that unless you can pay the artists they stop working. Every technological revolution has wiped out culture. We're going to avoid that."

Ivan Pope ( is sometime editor of 3W, the World Wide Web magazine, and a regular contributor to .net.

You can call Cerberus on
Tel (0171) 497 0678
The new system will be up and running by the end of February, with the player software initially distributed on magazine cover disks, and then over the Net. A Web site giving more information is currently being created - we'll put the URL on FutureNet as soon as we get it.