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Cingular To Launch Music Download Service for Cell Phones
Wednesday, November 1st, 2006 at 1:55 PM - by
Cell phone carrier Cingular will be announcing a new online music service for cell phones that can store and play music, according to a Wall Street Journal report. In a departure from other carrier-operated services, Cingular's offering will work with 3rd party services Napster, Yahoo! Music, and eMusic, and will also support music ripped from CDs in the MP3 or Windows Media format. The service is expected to be announced on Thursday, November 2nd.
That means the new service will not work with iTunes downloads, even though Cingular has partnered with Apple in the past, and has long been the subject of speculation concerning the as-yet unannounced iPhone from Apple.
According the Journal, the service will be computer based, allowing users to manage their collections and download tunes through their computers. The article did not specify which platforms would be supported, but as Microsoft's subscription services only operate on Windows, it's a safe bet that this will be a Windows-only offering.
The service will also allow users to download individual tunes for a fee, and include a unique feature called "Music ID." With this service, users can hold up their phones to a speaker playing a song, and Cingular's back end will then compare that song to the Napster database, allowing the customer to then purchase the song (if it's there) with a click.
Sometime in 2007, the service will add the ability to shop and buy tunes wirelessly through their phones. Until then, management will be handled through the above-mentioned computer-side software interface.
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