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REM previews latest album on community website

NEW YORK - REM is previewing their new album, 'Around The Sun', on the community website MySpace.com.

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According to reports, the album, which features the single 'Leaving New York', will be featured on the site for two weeks starting today.

Visitors to the site will be able to listen to tracks for free, and the site will offer links to tour dates and other information on the band.

MySpace.com is a place where people can develop a network of friends and share photos, journals and interests

People sign up and create a profile and then invite their friends to join their personal network. Their friends' friends connections can also be viewed, allowing people to make contact with new people based on shared interests.

At the same time, The Independent reported yesterday that online music stores face the possibility of going out of business because record labels are taking such a large stake in tracks sold online.

It reports that iTunes, owned by Apple, takes only four cents from each 99-cent track sold in the US, while the record labels take 62 cents. Music publishers get the rest.

ITunes in the UK faces investigation from the Office of Fair Trading after the Consumers' Association complained that it was selling tracks here for the equivalent of €1.20, but the same tracks could be bought in Germany or France for 79 cents.

Meanwhile, EasyGroup entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou has plans to muscle in on the market with EasyMusic, which promises to offer tracks from just 25p.

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