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Best Buy Bows Music Service

5 Oct, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Seeking to take a bite out of the Apple iPod and iTunes music store juggernaut, big-box retailer Best Buy Oct. 15 will bow a proprietary digital music download service and third-party MP3 player.

RealNetworks' nascent Rhapsody 4.0 software and consumer electronics manufacturer SanDisk will back the Minneapolis-based retailer's service with backend support and the Sansa e200R Rhapsody music player, respectively.

Unlike iTunes, Best Buy's service will be subscription-based (reportedly $14.99 per month), with an unlimited number of downloads from Best Buy's site. Individual songs will be available for 99 cents during the initial promotion period.

The 2GB Sansa player reportedly holds 500 songs and retails for $139.99; an 8GB player stores 2,000 songs and sells for $249.99.

“Music is at the heart of a lot of our businesses, and we believe customers should be able to buy music in any format they want,” said Jennifer Schaidler, VP of music at Best Buy, during a presentation of the service Oct. 5.

No mention was made about future video or movie offerings on the service.

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