RealNetworks, Inc. today announced the launch of Rhapsody DNA, a new technology platform that enables device makers to deliver a seamless Rhapsody experience to consumers via a broad range of portable, mobile, and in-home devices. In conjunction with this launch, Real announced that it is teaming with SanDisk Corporation to integrate Rhapsody DNA into Sansa MP3 players this fall in the United States.
The RealNetworks/SanDisk partnership will feature groundbreaking new
features embedded in a line of SanDisk's Sansa e200 series of portable
players. The collaboration will allow consumers to personalize their device
and take full advantage of both Rhapsody's unlimited access model and
SanDisk's flash-based MP3 player capabilities and capacity.
The e200s with the special Rhapsody DNA platform will come equipped
with nearly 32 hours of pre-loaded music from hundreds of the world's most
popular artists, including artists on labels from EMI Recorded Music,
SONYBMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group,
as well as leading independent labels.
The players also include unique capabilities, such as automatically
updating with new music based on a consumer's personal tastes and
historical music preferences.
"Rhapsody DNA is an amazing innovation that puts the celestial jukebox
into the consumer's pocket," said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO,
RealNetworks. "We can't imagine a better launch partner than SanDisk.
Together, Real and SanDisk will soon deliver great new end-to-end
experiences that make it easier and more fun than ever before for consumers
to discover and enjoy music."
"We're excited to be working with Real to be the first to offer the
Rhapsody DNA on our feature-rich, high-capacity Sansa players with the
acclaimed Rhapsody service," said Eli Harari, president and chief executive
officer, SanDisk. "This partnership with Real demonstrates SanDisk's
commitment to bring consumers an array of options on how they receive and
enjoy their music."
"Real has developed a unique way of introducing consumers to new
music," said Charles Goldstuck, President, Bertelsmann Music Group. "It's
an exciting development for music fans and we are looking forward to
working with Real to make the launch a success."
The Sansa e200 MP3 player line includes the 8GB(1) Sansa e280 that
includes the ability to add 2GB of additional music via a microSD card.
With a total of 10GB of memory, the e280 is one of the world's largest
capacity flash-based MP3 players. Also available in 2, 4 and 6 GB capacity,
the e200 includes award-winning audio, photo viewing and video clip
playback capabilities; digital FM tuner; on-the-fly FM recording(2); voice
recording with a built-in microphone, and a user replaceable and
rechargeable Lithium Ion battery for up to 20 hours of battery life(3).
Rhapsody DNA gives OEMs and device partners like SanDisk a world-class
platform they can use to compete on a one-to-one basis with other
end-to-end music experiences. Although Rhapsody DNA can operate on devices
that are compatible with -- and include -- Microsoft's PlaysForSure
platform, Rhapsody DNA does not depend on Microsoft technology in any way.
The Rhapsody DNA platform is based on Real's Helix digital rights
management and includes a number of enabling and optimizing technologies
that allow partners to take full advantage of Rhapsody's unlimited access
model. With Rhapsody DNA users can access their music across different
types of devices. Real and SanDisk cooperated closely to optimize SanDisk's
Sansa e200 players to work seamlessly in the new Rhapsody DNA environment.
In addition to SanDisk, Real is currently working with several other
device manufacturers to integrate support for the Rhapsody DNA platform.
One of these partners is Sonos(R), Inc., which last week released Sonos
System Software 2.0, a software update to its digital music system whose
revolutionary direct-to-service architecture is powered by the Rhapsody DNA
platform and made possible through close technical collaboration between
Real and Sonos.
RealNetworks pioneered the unlimited access music service model, and
currently leads the market for those services with more than 1.625 million
subscribers for Rhapsody and its other premium music services. Since
launching in 2001, Rhapsody has received multiple industry awards and
honors. In 2006, PC World honored Rhapsody with a 2006 World Class Award in
its annual list of "100 Best Products" and Entertainment Weekly named
Rhapsody one of its "25 Best Music Websites," the latest in a string of
honors for Rhapsody. In 2005, Rhapsody received several honors, including
PC World's Best Buy Award, PC Magazine's Best of 2005 Award for "Best
Music-Streaming Service," and a designation as "Best Online Music
Subscription Service" in CNET's list of Top 100 Products for 2005.
ABOUT SANDISK CORPORATION
SanDisk is the original inventor of flash storage cards and is the
world's largest supplier of flash data storage card products, using its
patented, high-density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is
headquartered in Milpitas, CA and has operations worldwide, with more than
half its sales outside the U.S.
ABOUT REALNETWORKS, INC.
RealNetworks, Inc. is the leading creator of digital media services and
software including Rhapsody(R), RealPlayer(R) 10, and casual PC and mobile
games. Broadcasters, network operators, media companies and enterprises use
RealNetworks' products and services to create and deliver digital media to
PCs, mobile phones and consumer electronics devices. Consumers can access
and experience audio/video programming and download RealNetworks' consumer
software at http://www.real.com. RealNetworks' systems and corporate
information is located at http://www.realnetworks.com.