SanDisk to launch Sansa Rhapsody co-branded music player

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There are reports of a co-branded Sansa e200 music player coming from SanDisk that ties into the Rhapsody online music service. It also suggests that the player will come bundled with hundreds of songs from the library (whether they’re good ones or not remains to be seen)

Sonos have already done a deal with RealNetworks, whereby Sonos’ software has been updated to incorporate the DRM found in Rhapsody. SlimDevices added support for Rhapsody earlier in the year.

Reports suggest that the deal should be advantageous to both sides. SanDisk gets to partner with a music service that rivals both iTunes and the forthcoming offering from Microsoft – seen as important because both SanDisk and Microsoft rely on Windows Media format.

On the other hand, RealNetworks gets a degree of tie-in on another platform and potentially strengthens its position in the ever more crowded online music download service.

What do you think about these co-branded links between music players and music services? Apple and iTunes started it, Microsoft will do it with Zune, and there are plenty of others that have done it or are considering it. Some reports suggest that the ‘average consumer’ (whoever that is) doesn’t care about tie-ins so long as they get the music they want on their player of choice, but there are plenty of voices that hate tie-ins. Your thoughts?

(Via Reg Hardware)

Rhapsody / SanDisk

Andy Merrett