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MusicGremlin takes on iPod, iTunes

updated 01:40 pm EDT, Wed June 14, 2006

MusicGremlin takes on iPod

MusicGremlin today unveiled a competitive portable music player coupled with an integrated online digital music service that stands to threaten Apple's iPod/iTunes dominance. MusicGremlin has partnered with in its launch, offering both an iTunes-like pay-for-play system allowing consumers to purchase individual tracks for ownership at $0.99 each, as well as a subscription-based service that allows users to pay a flat monthly fee of $14.99 for unlimited rental access to the company's music library. That library boasts more than two million songs from the four major music labels, in addition to thousands of independent labels. MusicGremlin users don't need a PC to utilize the service, either, as the device offers Wi-Fi connectivity to download songs from any wireless access point. The Gremlin MG-1000 hard drive-based player ($299.99) offers 8GB of storage capacity -- or roughly 2,000 tracks -- and connects to Windows PCs for transfer. The software for the player is incompatible with Mac OS X, however, leaving Mac users to fend for themselves.

The Gremlin MG-1000

Gremlin owners can connect to Wi-Fi using both their home network and publicly-available Wi-Fi hot-spots. When the Gremlin turns on, the device's Wi-Fi manager scans in the background without interrupting the user's listening experience, automatically connecting to the strongest available network. The device can connect to both open and select permission-based networks. When not connected, users can browse and purchase new music via the included music catalog, which is then delivered to their Gremlin players during the next connection. The players can also connect directly to each other if no network is present.

Gremlin users can connect to each other over-the-air to browse each other's music libraries, while subscription users can send music to each other's players wirelessly and legally, both locally or connected via Wi-Fi to the internet.

Gremlin players feature all the basic functionality of other MP3 players, allowing users to transfer existing MP3 and WMA files from PCs to the player for playing. Gremlins also support Windows Media 10-based music services, further expanding the device's access to music sources which could harm Apple's limited iPod offering, which is bound to the iTunes Music Store.

by MacNN Staff





  1. fletcher

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Let's see. Mac OS X support? Nope. AAC support? Doesn't look like it.

    I could be enthusiastic about an iPod competitor if one is ever released which supports the platform I use and the music file format all my CDs are ripped in.

    I can accept that an iPod competitor wouldn't be able to play iTMS songs, but at least they could provide synching with Macs and support for some of the most popular music file formats.

    Otherwise, it's a non-starter.

  1. Stratus Fear

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's actually kind of annoying reading headlines like this all the time, because these companies never get any headway into the market. MacNN, please do me a favor and start writing the headlines like this: "MusicGremlin takes on iPod, iTunes, fails just like everybody else has"

  1. zl9600

    Joined: Dec 1969


    wi-fi hog?

    boy if this thing takes off (or any wi-fi download device), look to see every single person with a hub close off their wireless network to this potential bandwidth-sucker.

  1. porieux

    Joined: Dec 1969


    wi-fi power hog

    They don't seem to say anything about battery life...hmm.

  1. dweebert

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Web interface?

    With an interface confined to IE6, I think this is the last we'll hear of MusicGremlin. These guys don't seem to realise that the only thing Apple's offering really has over all the others is the tight end-to-end product, without a hunk of web browser or manual file transfer in the middle.

    The wirelessness is an interesting feature, but I don't think it's enough until open hotspots are everywhere.

  1. QualleyIV

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Or for $300...

    Or for $300 you could get an actual iPod with almost 4x more storage capacity...

  1. pastusza

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What were they thinking??

    $300 for 8 gigs of HD storage? Or you can get a 30 gig iPod, which plays movies for $299. I think they missed their price point.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969



    makes me wantt to run right out and buy a Gremlin_

    I agree witth tthe waste of a headline comment above - those headlines are a dime a dozen - but the thing is - it will actually be worthy news if the headline read more like "Gremlin takes on iPod and cuts into market share significantly enough to be noticeable"

    Again MACNN is wasting the reader's time with more non-news-worthy news_ They should either re-evaluate some of these story writers, fire them and get some in there that actually have a brain or re-evalute the editors, fire them and get some people in that can hold a coherent thought_

    Apparently there is a new feature on Word Processors these days to go along with Spell Check and Grammar Check - it's called Intelligent Thought Check_

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You can totally see why Amazon didn't go for this after spending so many $$$ on it. So wrong, so wrong.

  1. t6hawk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Legality for wifi

    I thought logging on to someone elses wifi connection without permission was not the most legal thing. I'm sure I saw an article recently about some guy getting in trouble with the cops for doing just that...

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