Compatible digital players unveiled.

Napster Japan on Thursday (Sept. 14) introduced a series of "Napster-compatible" portable digital music players in cooperation with several leading electronic hardware makers in the run-up to the subscription-based music download service's expected launch here this fall.

The players, made by Toshiba, JVC, Creative, iRiver and Fujitsu, will use Windows Media Digital Rights Management 10 for Portable Devices format.

"The manufacturers will cooperate with Napster from the product-development stage to ensure that Napster users will be able to enjoy smooth service," Napster Japan said in a statement. "We also plan to expand the number of manufacturers and products that are compatible with Napster in the future, and expect shipments of compatible products to exceed 2 million units within the year."

Napster Japan was established in October 2005 as a joint venture between Tokyo-based Tower Records Japan and U.S.-based Napster.