Nintendo's Game Boy To Play MP3 Files

Los Angeles-based digital media device manufacturer SongPro Inc. will release this fall an add-on component for Nintendo's hand-held gaming system, Game Boy, that will allow it to double as a MP3 musi

Los Angeles-based digital media device manufacturer SongPro Inc. will release this fall an add-on component for Nintendo's hand-held gaming system, Game Boy, that will allow it to double as a MP3 music player, Billboard Bulletin reports. It will also be able to store and play back files encoded in Microsoft's WMA format.

The product -- which allows Game Boy users to view album, and artist information and lyrics, as well as listen to music -- is expected to retail for $99 and will come with a memory card that can hold up to an album's worth of songs. Consumers will be able to purchase additional blank cards with greater storage capacity, as well as pre-recorded titles.

Additional related content, such as liner notes and album art, will be encoded in a proprietary SongPro file format known as SPA. SongPro intends to offer direct-to-device song transfer capability for promotional downloads and a la carte track purchases via a partnership with digital commerce services company RioPort.

In other online music news, Listen.com has become the first subscription-service operator to ink content distribution agreements with all five major labels. The company announced yesterday (July 1) that it has signed a pact to offer tracks from Universal Music Group (UMG) via its Rhapsody on-demand streaming service. Listen already has similar deals in place with EMI, BMG, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment.

As a result of the pact, Rhapsody will be able to offer its users access to more than 200,000 songs -- a combination of major-label and indie content -- by the end of the month. Like Listen's other major-label deals, the UMG agreement does not allow for tracks to be downloaded to portable devices or to be burned to CDs.
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