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Record Producer Develops Way for Artists to Leave Messages in CDs

March 28, 1994

NEW YORK (AP) _ A small recording company has created a way for music artists to fill leftover space on a compact disc with a message listeners can choose to hear.

The technology could be used for audio ″liner notes″ or any other information the artist wants to convey.

Willie Nelson became the first artist to take advantage of the technology on his new CD, ″Moonlight Becomes You.″

The technology, called Justice Soundboard, was formally introduced Monday by co-developer Randall Jamail, president of Houston-based Justice Records.

Jamail called the technology ″a means by which an artist can communicate with a listener without intruding on the listener’s experience.″

A typical CD can hold about 78 minutes worth of music but most artists do not fill a disc. Justice Records created a way for artists to record a message before the first music track.

To hear Nelson’s message, a listener pushes ″play″ for the first track but then holds down the ″rewind″ button for a few seconds until the start of the spoken message is reached.

Nelson describes some of his thoughts for songs on the album. Other artists may want to use the extra space for similar explanations, akin to verbal program notes.

Justice Records is lining up licensing agreements with other recording companies for the technology.

Because the message is placed before the ″start signal″ of a CD, it can only be reached manually with the rewind button. For instance, it would not be heard on a disc that’s in rotation with others in a multiple disc changer.

Artists such as Nirvana or U2 have placed messages or extra music at the end of their CDs, leaving long gaps after the last song.

But the Justice Soundboard concept is for listeners to control the message in a way similar to the music tracks.

″This is completely discretionary,″ Jamail said.

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