Ericsson and Napster Open Mobile Music Service

By Richard Menta 6/15/05

Beating the Apple/Motorola iTunes phone to the market Napster and Ericsson announced the launch of their new mobile music service. The service, to be offered initially in select markets in Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America, has yet to be named. Napster's chairman and CEO Chris Gorog stated "Ericsson and Napster are uniquely suited to offer mobile operators a simple, cohesive and personalized digital music experience for their consumers"

The Sony PSP is available on Amazon

The Napster/Ericsson plan calls for the transfer of music both through the PC and wirelessly. This is opposed to the iTunes/Motorola plan where tranfers are PC only. Also, the iTunes/Motorola pairing was a cut between manufacturer and music supplier, but did not include the telecommunications provider. The phone companies balked that they were left out of the money trail and the new iPod phone's release was delayed. The new Napster service cuts in the phone companies.

The service is scheduled to go live over the next 12 months.As Ericsson is owned by Sony it is not known yet whether the service will fall as a subset of the Napster-to-Go ideology, further utilizing Microsoft's Janus technology, or if Sony is using this as an opportunity to promote its own proprietary technology including ATRAC3.

Right now it seems to lean toward the Janus technology as the service allows both the direct purchase of songs as well as a subscription (rent-a-song) model. Still, Sony is rabid to push its own technology forward and will promote that as long as one for subscriptions has been developed


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