RealNetworks to drum up interest in Rhapsody music service with SanDisk's help

There’s another team entering the music player/music service game to join the iPod and iTunes duo and the Zune and Zune Marketplace twins. RealNetworks is holding hands with SanDisk to put content from its service on to a range of Sansa players in the hopes of attracting more subscribers.

The Sansa Rhapsody is a e200 that incorporates Rhapsody DNA software and is preloaded with up to 32 hours of music from artists like the Dixie Chicks and Jessica Simpson from the Rhapsody music service. The tracks will stop playing after thirty days if the user hasn’t logged into the service and synced the player accordingly.

The Rhapsody Unlimited online service costs $9.99 a month for a rental of unlimited. Once a subscription runs out, the songs lock up.

The Rhapsody To Go service, which allowed users to download tracks to a portable media player relied on Microsofts digital rights management software, which RealNetworks has said had too many bugs. So the company engineered its own DRM software, Rhapsody DNA, although Microsoft’s software will also be on the Sansa Rhapsody so that owners aren’t tied in to only using RealNetworks music service.

Look out for the new players to hit the shelves before Christmas.


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