International cell-phone operator T-Mobile today (June 28) launched digital music service Ear Phones. The service will initially offer T-Mobile's Mobile Jukebox, which allows users to browse, download
International cell-phone operator T-Mobile today (June 28) launched digital music service Ear Phones. The service will initially offer T-Mobile's Mobile Jukebox, which allows users to browse, download, store and play tracks directly from the Internet to a cell phone, without a separate music player or connection to a PC. The songs are specially edited 90-to-120-second clips of recorded music, called Mobile Mix tracks.
Ear Phones will initial offer 500 Mobile Mix tracks, through non-exclusive agreements with Universal Music International, Sony Music International, Warner Music International, BMG Entertainment and independents that include V2 and Edel. Artists featured include Beyoncé, Amy Winehouse, Black Eyed Peas, Nelly Furtado and Pete Murray. T-Mobile, which says it is still in talks with EMI Recorded Music, expects the catalog to expand to 250,000 downloadable full-length tracks and sample music videos by Christmas.
Each Mobile Mix track will cost €1.50 ($1.80) in the continental European markets and £1.50 ($2.73) in the United Kingdom. T-Mobile still has not set prices for full tracks when they become available. Tracks will be encoded in the ACC+ format and be based on the Open Mobile Alliance digital rights management standard.
Ear Phones' Mobile Jukebox services will start rolling out in July in T-Mobile's European markets. Each Ear Phones-compatible handset is able to store up to 80 Mobile Mix tracks and up to 40 full-length tracks.