A method and system to acquire, digitize, store, and deliver live content (102), such as music, to an end user via a network. The system can capture live content directly into a portable audio format which can be encoded at various levels of resolution into a file. The encoded file can then be transported over a network to a network distributor (116) who can then sell the encoded file to end users. The system can also insert a digital watermark into each user file which can contain the user information, the copyright information, and a unique serial number for future verification and copy protection. The digital watermark can survive file or format conversion.