T-Mobile preps music download service
Mobile Jukebox limited to song clips - and not many of 'em
T-Mobile is to provide customers will the ability to download music to their mobile phones.
But Apple needn't fear for its iPod just yet: T-Mobile's new 'Ear Phone' handsets can hold just three songs at once. And each song is limited to a 90-120s clip - as much for GPRS-based download duration reasons as handset storage capacity - and they're not cheap: £1.50 or €1.50.
Punters will be able to choose from a list of just 500 titles from Mobile Jukebox, though T-Mobile has promised to grow that to 250,000 by Christmas, with content from just two of the big five recording companies: Sony and Universal. T-Mobile hopes to sign deals with Warner and BMG in due course. It also expects to offer full-length songs in due course.
T-Mobile's service mirrors one launched by O2 earlier this year, which is based on a separate music player connected to Siemens mobile phones by infra-red. O2's service also allows songs to be saved on a PC. Its DMP (Digital Music Player, natch) device also plays MP3s copied over from a host computer.
T-Mobile is preparing a range of consumer-oriented Ear Phone handsets priced at £30-60. It reckons that will tempt consumers put off by the high prices hard drive-based music players carry, but T-Mobile's prices are not much lower than many Flash-based MP3 players that can hold rather more songs than its handsets can.
The T-Mobile Ear Phones will go on sale next month in Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic. ®
O2 launches digital music player
iTunes users hijack iMixes to demand indie content
Napster pays BestBuy $10m to promote music service
Apple iTunes Europe shifts 0.8m songs in first week
BMW to add iPod in-car interconnect
Napster gives away MP3 players
HMV iPods not compatible with store's music downloads
Apple opens iTunes in the UK, France and Germany
iRiver to ship third 'video iPod' in July
Sponsored: Fast data protection ROI?