Samsung takes on iTunes with digital music subscription service for its MP3 players

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samsung-k5-sms.jpgSamsung has taken the wraps off the Samsung Media Studio, a new digital music service offering individual song downloads, as well as all-you-can-eat subscription packages.

It’s designed to work with Samsung’s K3, K5 and T9 digital music players, although a firmware update will also bring in the company’s older devices like the Z5, as long as they supported PlaysForSure DRM.

Here in the UK, the service will have over three million tracks available at launch, taken from the four major labels and over 55,000 independents. The subscription service will cost £10.25 a month, and you’ll be able to download as many tracks as you want (although they’ll stop playing if you stop paying). Individual downloads will start at 79p a pop, matching iTunes.

While there’s no mention of mobile phones in the press release announcing the service, you’d assume it would be the logical next step – particularly with Sony Ericsson and Nokia already planning their mobile music stores, the mobile operators all having their own services, and the upcoming launch of Omnifone’s subscription-based MusicStation service in the UK.

For now, though, it’s MP3 players only. Whether music fans will want to buy songs from a store that are then tied to an individual manufacturer’s devices, I’m not sure. Then again, what am I saying? iTunes has sold millions of tracks…

Samsung Play website (not working at time of writing)

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Stuart Dredge