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Best Buy, Real and SanDisk To Launch Music Service 109

M00NIE writes "Best Buy has announced it's going to join forces with Real and SanDisk to launch a new online music store. The new technology apparently makes use of Sansa music players that support Rhapsody DNA subscriptions." From the article: "As far as technical details go, Best Buy's new service is going to be identical to Rhapsody's current offering of WMA-protected audio files with the additional features provided by Rhapsody DNA. Rhapsody DNA is based on Real's Helix DRM and gives users the ability to access their content across different types of devices, and provides what RealNetworks describes as an "end-to-end music experience" similar to the closed ecosystem approach that Apple uses and Microsoft will be using with the Zune."
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Best Buy, Real and SanDisk To Launch Music Service

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  • by c0d3g33k ( 102699 ) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @04:16PM (#16327023)
    Quoth Tackhead: "MTP mode (yuck, Media Transfer Protocol means "works on XP only, and you can only transfer files by politely asking WMP10/11+ for permission") and UMS (woohoo, USB Mass Storage, it mounts like every other USB drive on every OS in the world) mode."

    I have an Sansa e200 player. For what it's worth, MTP also works well with recent versions of Winamp, so WMP isn't obligatory. Yes, it's still on Windows, but it's a little less painful than being forced to use WMP. The WinAmp support for audio players seems quite nice.

    UMS - a woohoo is indeed relevant - at least the player can be used on Linux too.

    In all honesty, though, I'll be happy when the Rockbox firmware is viable.

  • by DittoBox ( 978894 ) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @04:20PM (#16327105) Homepage
    You mixed Rhythmbox with Rockbox: Rockbox the replacement firmware project, [] and Rhythmbox, the GNOME iTunes-like player: []
  • by GregMcD ( 639604 ) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @04:49PM (#16327561)
    While I haven't used Rhapsody's new portable player, I have had experience with Rhapsody and I must say I thoroughly like it. I received a Sonos home audio system as a gift last winter,tried Rhapsody's free 30 day trial and haven't looked back. I can only assume that the portable music players will function in the same manner as Sonos (and I think that's a safe assumption based upon what I've read so far). If so, Rhapsody's subscription model has several benefits over a per track purchase model:

    * More affordable -- $120 to $180 a year for virtually all the music you want (that's the equivalent of perhaps 20 CDs from iTunes)

    * More affordable -- my time is too valuable to spend it ripping my extensive CD collection into MP3s or a lossless format and organizing it ... a couple of clicks and my existing music is "added" to my Rhapsody library as I want to listen to it

    * More flexible -- I can add a artist's entire body of work to my Rhapsody library, listen to it several times to decide if I like it and delete it if I don't ... and it doesn't cost me anything beyond my basic monthly subscription fee

    * Protection from "obsolescence" -- the current sampling rates used by iTunes, Rhapsody and the others aren't exactly CD quality, but they are good enough. If iTunes decides to improve the bit rate in 2 years, you'll likely have to buy the tracks all over again, but with Rhapsody they should just be there automatically

    * Buy It, too -- if you want to buy a Rhapsody track and burn your own CD, you can do it just as you would with iTunes ... each track is generally only 89 cents.

    I realize that the subscription model isn't right for everyone, but I think many of the comments here don't consider the positive factors. I view it similarly to a Sirius or XM monthly subscription. For a very modest price each month, I have access to all the music I could ever want and I certainly do a lot more exploration of new artists than I have ever done before. I also have the option of buying the tracks outright at any time just as with iTunes.

    Finally, I've long been a critic of Real's software and their invasive installation tactics. I was therefore genuinely surprised at how clean the Rhapsody install was and the absence of the typical Real antics. Best of all, Rhapsody's integration with Sonos is simply elegant -- no PC involved at all -- direct access to the entire Rhapsody music library. channels and radio stations from the Sonos wireless remote. It has been a true pleasure.

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