Loudeye, Nokia Team For Mobile Music

Service lets operators sell under their own brand.

Finnish cell-phone maker Nokia has joined forces with Seattle-based digital service provider Loudeye Corp. to launch a mobile music platform in 30 countries. Unveiled today (Feb. 14) at 3GSM World Congress, the annual mobile trade show in Cannes, the platform enables mobile operators to sell music under their own branding.

The services on offer, which are 3G (third-generation) compatible, include full-track downloads and master ringtones. Users will also be able to transfer music from their mobile handsets to their laptop or home computers, and vice versa. Payments for music will be processed via their phone bills.

"It is one of the first ever own-label platforms for operators, which will be available in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia," Ed Averdieck, Loudeye's London-based GM for Europe, tells billboard.biz.

The Nokia/Loudeye system enables subscribers to browse, search and listen before selecting songs to download to any type of handset or home computer.

"This tightly integrated service means that consumers can enjoy music at their convenience without having to worry about the underlying technologies," Nokia music VP Jonas Geust in a statement. "It’s the only music solution available to operators globally that fully integrates the mobile and the PC experience.”

The platform also features a music locker that allows users to store their collections for access at any time.

The songs are protected with digital rights management based on the Open Mobile Alliance version 1.0. In the future, the service will incorporate the more flexible OMA 2.0, which permits mobile users to share songs under certain conditions.

For wireless access, the platform distributes repertoire digitized in the AAC codec, while Internet access is offered through Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Media Audio.


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