Samsung is working with Roxio to develop a line of portable audio players that will carry the brand names of both Samsung and Roxio's Napster service.
The announcement came a day after a co-branded Samsung-Napster hard-disk drive-based MP3 player received approval from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for use in the US.
First results from the partnership are expected to be seen later this year when a portable audio player was launched to coincide with the start of the Napster 2.0 service, the two companies said in a statement. Far from its roots as a centrefor the trade of audio files, the second generation service will allow people to buy and download music from a catalog of 500,000 songs, according to Roxio.
The company is working with five major record companies to operate the service.
The two companies didn't offer any more details of the planned players, however, last Monday a Samsung-manufactured player received FCC approval. Along with an approval notice the FCC published pictures of the device and the preliminary user manual, which carries the Napster 2.0 logo.
The Samsung Napster YP-910 Player includes a 20GB hard-disk drive, according to the user manual published by the FCC. The capacity is enough space to store around 5000 average length MP3 files. That puts it on par storage-wise with Toshiba's recently announced Gigabeat MJ200 player and Apple's new mid-range iPod and half that of Apple's high-end 40GB iPod.
It measures 108mm by 70mm by 20mm, which is roughly in-line with competing players albeit a little on the thick side, but beats both Toshiba and Apple by a long way when it comes to weight. The player weighs 60gm, according to the preliminary specifications.
If they are correct that makes it less than half the weight of Toshiba's new player and a third the weight of the 40GB iPod.
Other features include support for both MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) files, a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port, and FM radio and an FM transmitter that means you can listen to songs wirelessly through an FM radio. It is this latter feature for which FCC regulatory approval was necessary.
It also includes a rechargable battery that provides enough power for up to 10 hours use, and a recording function that can be used to record from the built-in FM radio or an external device, such as a CD player, to an MP3 file, the manual said.