Nokia is set to challenge Apple in the music download space with the upcoming launch of its new Music Store. The online Music Store offers a similar music download service to that offered by Apple iTunes, however it delivers the songs direct to Nokia mobile phones.
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Nokia Australia’s General Manager, Shaun Colligan said, “As the world’s largest manufacturer of digital music players we are ideally placed to further enhance our devices repertoire with our internet-based music store experience. Australia will be one of the first 10 countries in the world to get their own localised Nokia Music Store.”
Users can access the Nokia Music Store via their personal computer (music.nokia.com.au) or directly from their Nokia N-series (N95 8GB, N81 8GB, and N82) handset. In addition, the ability to sync from a PC is available on a wider range of Nokia models, including the Nokia 5610 and Nokia 5310 Xpress Music handsets.
The Music Store’s interface was easy to use. The main page displayed the album of the week, new track and album releases, top singles and albums, best selling tracks, and displays various music genres. The Music Store also offers options to create customised playlists and a wishlist option that can keep track of tracks that can be downloaded at a later time.
Tracks purchased (individual tracks will cost $1.70 per track and albums from $17.00) can be transferred via your PC to compatible Nokia devices and the music collection can be synchronised between the PC and a mobile using Windows Media Player 11. The tracks are typically delivered in 192Kbps audio in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. The Nokia Music Store also offers a monthly subscription for PC users to stream an unlimited number of full length tracks for $10 per month.
Keep in mind that songs downloaded directly from a Nokia 3G phone will also be subject to data charges by your phone’s carrier. This could pump up the cost per song from $1.70 to about $3, depending on the file size of the song.
All music on the Nokia Music Store will be able to be purchased through a variety of payment options, including credit cards and pre-paid retail vouchers.