RealNetworks Licenses Rhapsody Music Service Technology To Consumer Electronics Makers - InformationWeek

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RealNetworks Licenses Rhapsody Music Service Technology To Consumer Electronics Makers

Consumer electronics companies plan to incorporate the online music service into MP3 players, digital video recorders, and microprocessors.

RealNetworks has licensed Rhapsody to a half dozen consumer electronics companies that plan to incorporate the online music service into MP3 players, digital video recorders, and microprocessors.

IRiver, Logitech, Nokia, SigmaTel, Telechip, and TiVo are the latest licensees of Rhapsody's technology platform, which has been available since last October, the online entertainment and software company said Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The deal is expected to increase the number of devices that can provide out-of-the-box access to the Rhapsody store, subscription service, and music management functions.

"Our vision for Rhapsody is to deliver seamless and personalized access to millions of songs, on-demand and from any device," Dan Sheeran, senior VP of music and video, said in a statement.

Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker, plans to offer the Rhapsody service in February through its N800 Internet tablet. The N800, which sports a 4-inch screen, offers access to Web browsing, instant messaging, and e-mail over a Wi-Fi connection.

TiVo plans to incorporate the music service this year in its namesake digital video recorder, or DVR, and Logitech is scheduled to release next week Rhapsody-enabled devices used to stream digital music to home stereos. The devices, Squeezebox and Transporter, were acquired in October through Logitech's purchase of the European company Slim Devices.

IRiver plans to release in the spring two Rhapsody-enabled portable music players, which also will have Wi-Fi support for wireless Internet access. SigmaTel and Telechips have licensed the technology to incorporate in the future chipsets for consumer electronics.

The Rhapsody service has a library of more than 3 million tunes, and 1.65 million subscribers, according to RealNetworks.

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