Napster has taken its first step into the hazardous world of the jukebox market with its first own-branded music player.
The 1GB player – which is only available in the US – takes the iPod Nano and Samsung YP-Z5 design approach, with a big screen and touch-sensitive navigation wheel fronting a 0.5in thick body.
The rest of the specs are fairly average; there’s an FM tuner, USB 2.0 for speedy transfer of your subscription tracks and a claimed 35-hour battery life.
Like a host of already existing PlaysForSure players, such as Creative’s Zen range, the player will happily gobble up tracks from the Napster To Go subscription service, which lets you rent as many tracks as you like for $15 a month.
There’s also a slightly less impressive 256MB flash player lurking in its US shop, which costs a cheapo $60 (£35).
Napster has previously made noises about slapping its logo on a Samsung player, but these are the first fully realised players from the download store.
They coincide with the recent launch of the Napster Free Service in the states, which lets you listen to a full-length preview of any of its 2-million tracks five times for free, before attempting to reel you in with the chance to buy it or subscribe.
Napster was unable to confirm whether or not its debut players or new service would be launching in the UK, although its website states that it’s ‘working hard to expand the free service to all Napster territories’. We’ll let you know the minute, and possibly a few seconds before, there’s any news.