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Gotuit Snaps Up iCAST Execs

Gotuit (www.gotuit.com) announced that it had hired former executives from CMGI-backed entertainment portal iCAST. According to Jim Logan, CEO of Gotuit, the team will help the company launch its personalized video product.

Joining Gotuit are: Scott Durgin, appointed chief technology officer at Gotuit, Vincent Colella, vice president of Product Management and MacFarland Hale, senior director of Development. Additionally, the company hired others in engineering positions. Logan made clear, however, that the open source Icecast team was not included.

Gotuit says it holds patents that can record time-shifted content just like TiVo or ReplayTV devices. One of first products was software called SongCatcher that allowed users to record over the air radio programming and capture songs to their PCs. Logan said that the company pulled SongCatcher from the Web site because there was no clear business model. "The problem was you don't have a radio near the PC. That was too much trouble for people," he said. He stressed that there were no legal implications, because capturing radio is different than capturing online streams. Logan says the DMCA prohibits capturing streams.

The company has shifted its focus and is working on TV and radio products now. Gotuit is working on a technology for time shifting radio, so users can save, pause and record live radio from their cars. He points to the growing number of TiVo and ReplayTV. "If you talk to TiVo users, they're so used to hitting the pause button, when their cell phone rings or when they get to a toll booth," said Logan. He said people will be able to save shows like the popular Rush Limbaugh radio show, and speed through all the ads, too.

Its upcoming Gotuit TV technology will enhance personal video recorders (PVRs), by making them easier to navigate and search content. It will partner with PVR manufacturers by aggregating metadata from TV and radio shows. From there, Gotuit can cut a show into bite-sized snippets for easy viewing. "A show like [CBS'] 60 Minutes is simple to do — you can cut the show into five or six components. And lots of TV content is magazine style or in segments."

How will Gotuit do it? It will use a combination of technology (such as captioning), monitoring services (like companies that monitor radio stations) and old-fashioned grunt work (watching the major networks themselves).

"The effect," said Logan, "is a personalized stream. You can turn it into personal broadcast."

Gotuit Media recently secured a second round of funding led by Motorola, which not coincidentally, makes set-top cable boxes that are starting to appear with personal video recorders built-in.

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