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Ex-Netscapers push Kontiki streaming service

Former Netscape executives Marc Andressen and James Barksdale are backing a new company dubbed Kontiki which aims at streamlining delivery of video and audio files over the Web, according to press reports.

Kontiki is set to launch Monday, starting a business it says will enable lower cost distribution of audio and video while maintaining reliable connections to servers. Backed by The Barksdale Group and Benchmark Capital and was founded by Netscape alums Mike Homer, Kontiki's chief executive, and Wade Hennessy, the chief technology officer. Andressen co-founded Netscape and currently heads Loudcloud, a Web services firm. Kontiki's software will use slow periods of Internet traffic to download audio and video to end-users, who would then be able to schedule times to view or hear files using a desktop application provided by the company.

Kontiki's desktop program will allow users to schedule one-time deliveries of large content files by downloading the media in off-peak hours. The company's software reportedly will support existing multimedia file types such as Windows Media and Apple's QuickTime.