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Samsung, Napster parter with XM Satellite Radio

updated 08:35 am EDT, Wed July 27, 2005

iPod/iTunes challenged

to create new MP3 players that leverage satellite radio technology as well as are integrated with Napster's online music service. The new partnership will take on Apple's dominance of the online music market and challenge the market-leading iTunes/iPod ecosystem. Samsung said it would introduce its first MP3 players with XM Satellite Radio capability, including two miniature flash memory-based players that will utilize XM's Connect-and-Play technology. The players will also allow users to easily mark songs for future purchase through Napster, offering an integrated listening and purchasing experience.

Samsung said its new players will be available in two storage capacity sizes and are expected to be available by the end of the year.

The alliance will combine the capabilities of downloading digital audio music with XM Satellite Radio's line-up of commercial- free music and premier sports, news, and talk radio channels. When the players are connected to a home or car docking station, users will be able to store digital audio content available on XM. The recorded content can be played anywhere, allowing subscribers to enjoy XM programming in places where the XM signal may not be available, such as the subway. In addition, the Samsung players enable the end user to store songs from his or her personal digital music collection, including digital music files (MP3 files and .wma files) purchased from a variety of digital music services.

XM Satellite Radio allows subscribers to discover and rediscover music. Using the Samsung XM/digital audio players, XM subscribers can identify selected songs heard on the XM Satellite Radio service for purchase through the Napster music downloading service. The Samsung players also allow users to create and manage customized playlists, combining both personal digital music files and recorded XM programming.

"XM + Napster" will provide a single interface for accessing, purchasing, and managing music from XM and Napster. Napster said the service will be the exclusive, integrated service for digital music subscriptions and downloading for XM's 4.4 million-plus subscribers. The "XM + Napster" service will launch in the fourth quarter of 2005 in conjunction with the availability of new XM/MP3 players, which will offer XM subscribers the ability to listen to XM's 150-plus channels of live programming on the player, store songs in the player's memory, and mark the songs they like for future reference or online purchase. Both players will ship with an XM Radio home accessory kit, which allows the device to receive XM's 150-plus radio channels of commercial-free music, plus news, talk and entertainment programming, in the home.

When the XM/MP3 player is connected to a PC, the "XM + Napster" service will match the marked XM song titles with Napster's music catalog; available songs can be purchased individually for on-demand listening and transferred to the player. The "XM + Napster" service will also enable XM subscribers to manage their entire digital music collection in one location, allowing users to create playlists that contain music from a variety of sources.

by MacNN Staff





  1. zioncity

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You never know

    You never know what Apple is really doing in their R&D labs for the iPod. They could very well soon introduce a new series of iPods in the next 6 months or so with Satellite Radio as a feature. Just like how the Windows world and others took innovations started by Apple, who says they cannot do the same. Be it a new feature, or service like XM or Sirrus... Plus I think someday I would like to see a Mac Tivo like device and then a video type iPod with a bigger screen, portable media center, for using that video... XM and music and photos....

    Just dreaming... but Apple can adapt... to subscription models to Satellite Radio... they may have been stoopid in the past,.. but are not the same Apple now, but a smarter Apple.

  1. gambit23

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Sounds interesting. Now let's see how they implement this.

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i give them a thumbs up

    Its a good idea. But it seems Sirrus is outdoing XM in the market place, like Apple is outsiting Napster. Do these two sinking companies intend to pull one another up? I guess that depends on if Apple partners with Sirrus or not. Watch Apple send a G5 into space and start their own iTunes Satellite Service...

  1. poulh

    Joined: Dec 1969



    baba booey baba booey baba booey

    my iPod just died and I'm going to Sirius with Howard so Apple, if you are listening, this is a great time to come out with a sternPod.

  1. TheBum

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't get it

    Maybe I'm not seeing the big picture, but I don't see a big market for this. Why would I want to pay a subscription fee to listen to good music interspersed with not-so-good (or even totally crappy) music when I can listen to only the good music from my own music collection?

  1. lockhartt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is a must do...

    I've been hoping Apple would do this for quite a while, and I'd say now's the time. Best implementation would be to send the song'd ID at the ITMS as a non-audible part of the signal so you could always click Buy Now on any song playing on your satellite radio (no need to know the title, artist, etc.). Whether the billing was handled through the satellite radio provider, or via a handshake between them and ITMS would be transparent to the user... they could just buy whatever music they wanted whenever they heard it. Talk about reaping the benefits of impulse buying!

    There would either have to be some authentication method to ensure someone didn't rack up the $ on your radio without your approval, or the songs should just go into your ITMS shopping cart (would lose a lot of the advantage of the impulse buying, but definitely the safer choice).

    I never remember all the music I want when I go to buy it... so much easier to buy it when you hear it.

  1. kernalpanic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    great idea

    think apple missed the boat on this. Listen to xm all the time. Its great to hear lots of new music plus songs haven't heard in a while. Then put them on my ipod.

  1. itguy05

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So record XM

    That's what I do - Roady or SkyFi to line in on my Powerbook. Wiretap to 192K VBR MP4 Bookmarkable and let it roll.

    Currently I have 50 or so hours of XM on my iPod and it works great. The only thing it doesn't have is the title/artist. But for what I use it for (in the car, walking the dog, etc) I don't care.

  1. jhorvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Portable satelite recepti

    Portable satelite reception is poor unless you in line of sight of the satelite. So you have to stand or sit next to a window or go outside where there are not to many large Hi rise buildings around. I believe this is one of the reasons Apple has not jumped on the satelite band wagon. That Elton John commercial looks great but it doesn't really work that way in real life. Don't be fooled. Anyone who buys it will be very unhappy when they find out they can't listen to there music at work because they can't be by a window or there are to many buildings in the way. And like someone else wrote. Why would I want to listen to the radio anyways. An iPod is about listening to your favorite music where ever you go. Not listening to what someone else puts on. Dumb idea. And then having to pay a subscription fee every month on top of that.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is Napster still around?

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