Best Buy today agreed to pick up Napster for $2.65 per share or about $121m. What is interesting here is Best Buy has been using Rhapsody for their own branded music store going as far as requiring manufactures to change their packaging to include the “Best Buy Digital Music Store” branding. (The reason why Creative no longer sells at Best Buy is because they refused to change their packaging and get on board the BB music store.)
This news is a bit disappointing for me since I was never really a fan of Napster and currently subscribe to Rhapsody and Zune Marketplace. It’s not that Napster is a bad music service, it’s just Rhapsody has a better catalog and has the best recommendation engine in the game. But I guess the good news is you will still be able to use Rhapsody Subscription on most of the players sold at Best Buy, it’s just not going to be bundled. Also note that it has not been officially stated as to what will happen with the Rhapsody / Best Buy partnership, but I am assuming the obvious.
[Press Release via PaidContent]
I’m now 5 weeks into my summer job and being in a job that allows for using an MP3 player I have been searching around for stuff to listen to the last few weeks. Music is all good and well, but when it’s 6 hours a day 6 days a week you do get tired of your “favorites” playlist rather quickly.
My way of thinking has always been to happily pay for something as long as it’s a reasonable fee for something I can actually use. 10 years after the first MP3 players reeked havoc in the music industry one would think that there’s been some steps made in the right direction when it comes to legal content for our beloved players, but has it really or are we still more or less left to illegal downloading if we want the good stuff? Read on for a look at what’s available in the realms of legal content now in 2008.
Back in Q4 or 2007 Creative players diminished from Best Buy’s store shelves and finally disappeared. It was left to mere speculations of low profit margins, the need to push their in-house brand, and Creative’s own lack of enthusiasm. None are the case.
Best Buy launched its digital music store powered by Rhapsody not too long ago. They asked manufactures to be Rhapsody certified, similar to being PlaysForSure certified, so that all players will fall into one of three music services: Best Buy Music Store (Rhapsody), Zune Marketplace, or iTunes. Creative failed to comply with the request and was thus dropped from Best Buy retailers.
So who is to blame? Do you point the finger at Creative for non compliance or do you point the finger at Best Buy for forcing this compliance. That is up to you do decide by voting accordingly with your purchasing power.
The ibiza Rhapsody is another attempt at direct wireless downloads- a path that has been blazed by the MusicGremlin and the Sansa Connect. I had a chance to check out this player last year at CES 2007 and it was one of the sexiest designs I have seen on an MP3 player. However, to cut production costs the ibiza lost its slick solid aluminum feel and just became just a pretty good looking player. Even though some of the design was lost, the many features and user interface remained intact. So how does it stack up against the pioneers or the wireless direct download, and is it worth the premium price tag? Read on…
Some pleasant news for many Rhapsody subscribers has been released today, as iriver and Real have announced the launch of the clix Rhapsody. The partnership will integrate features which are exclusively compatible with Rhapsody services into the popular second generation clix, in much the same way as Sandisk’s Sansa 200R series of digital audio players.
The new model will automatically be updated with music from personalized Rhapsody channels each time it is connected to the service. Rhapsody components are then included in the device’s interface to allow the presentation of album art, editorial reviews, and the ability to rate songs, albums, and artists.
A 4GB version of the clix Rhapsody can already be purchased online for $190. Alternatively Rhapsody compatibility can be implemented on the clix2 by applying firmware from iriver’s website.
[Press Release via Engadget]
With the announcement this morning of the upcoming Best Buy Digital Music Store (powered by RealNetwork’s Rhapsody 4.0) came firm details about the previously announced Sansa e200R series of digital audio players. Available through Best Buy retail stores across the country and Rhapsody’s online shop, the $140 e250R (2GB), $180 e260R (4GB), $220 e270R (6GB), and $250 e280R (8GB) ship with over 30 hours of preloaded music and its new under-the-hood technology platform dubbed Rhapsody DNA.
One of the coolest features of Rhapsody DNA, which is based on the company’s Helix DRM, is that users can subscribe to particular channels (according to artist or genre) and then receive automatic updates whenever new content in that channel is available.
The Best Buy Digital Music Store and the Sansa e200R series will officially link arms and storm the iTunes/iPod fortress together beginning October 15. And in lieu of battle paint, Best Buy is giving away free two-month subscriptions to its store (normally priced at $14.99/month) with the purchase of a Sansa player.
[Product Page via Gizmodo]