updated 07:35 pm EST, Mon January 29, 2007
Despite the general popularity of iTunes and the iTunes Store, competitors are moving in to draw away Apple's userbase. A Redmond start-up called NexTune is offering its namesake music software which is aesthetically similar to iTunes, but can play both Apple's FairPlay as well as Microsoft's PlaysForSure files. NexTune also taps into a database with extensive file information that can include details down to mood, tempo, and what instruments were used. The company is further offering users 10 cents of credit for each song profile they submit, which is usable to purchase CDs from the NexTune Music Store. Digital purchases are said to be coming in the future.
Coinciding with the launch of the K3 and Y9 music players in the United Kingdom, Electronista reports that Samsung is opening up its own online music store in that territory. Much like Apple's iTunes Store, the Samsung Media Studio is accessible from custom software, and currently boasts more than 2.6 million songs from both mainstream and independent labels. Album pricing varies, but individual tracks sell for 79 pence each while an unlimited download subscription costs Ł15 per month. The purchase of a Samsung player nets a free seven-day trial, and users can legally burn files from Media Studio to a CD or transfer them to any third-party player.