O2 Ireland has entered into a partnership with music labels Warner, AIM, Universal and BMG to enable mobile users to download and enjoy music on the move via a GPRS handset and a specially designed digital music player.
It is understood that a number of further music labels are going to sign up for the service over the next few months.
To use the service, a mobile user would connect the digital music player to their handset via infrared and select the ‘get new music’ option to view a menu of track listings.
The user then selects a track and can choose to either hear a free 30-second clip or to purchase the entire track.
The track can be listened to as it is downloading and once it has been downloaded the digital music player can be unclipped from the mobile handset and used as a regular personal music device.
Up to 70 tracks can be stored on the 64MB memory card for as long as they are required, and users may choose to download the music files to their data card, which can then be transferred to a PC for additional storage. Additional memory cards can be purchased as needed.
The device is manufactured by a division of Siemens and Swiss-based M2Y Group. Hosting and content aggregation is provided by a Siemens-led consortium.
“The O2 digital music player is just the start of something really big for O2 and its customers,” explained Paul Farrell, head of marketing at O2. “Traditionally seen as simply a mobile network, O2 is now moving further into the music arena and the development of the O2 DMP is a further example of how O2 is continuing to lead in the marketplace by bringing innovative devices to its customers.”
The new service will be made available from 10 August and the music player comes with an introductory offer to download 100 tracks of your choice for free until the end of October. The device comes with a 64MB data card and a USB cable.
In terms of pricing, the music player will cost €299 and tracks will be approximately €1.50 to download. The service can be used by both bill paying and prepaid O2 customers.
By John Kennedy