TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Verizon's Music Service Hampers MP3 Ability

Verizon's Music Service Hampers MP3 Ability

Monty Solomon (
Tue, 10 Jan 2006 02:34:22 -0500

By BRUCE MEYERSON AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- The first edition of a new music service from Verizon
Wireless hampers a cell phone's ability to play MP3 songs acquired
elsewhere, a handicap the company says is purely temporary and
unrelated to larger battles over digital copyright restrictions.

The new V Cast Music store does, however, weigh in definitively on one
side of the music download industry by employing the newest version of
the Windows Media Player from Microsoft Corp., which doesn't work with
Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh operating system or iTunes software.

Verizon Wireless spoke out Monday after criticisms began appearing on
Web logs including PCS Intel and Techdirt regarding the new service,
which the company launched last week at the International Consumer
Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Customers wanting V Cast Music who already own one of the two
compatible handsets need to visit one of the company's retail
locations for a software upgrade.

The two phones, one from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and one from LG
Electronics Inc., come with slots for removable storage disks and an
application to play MP3 digital songs on those disks.

The V Cast upgrade disables that capability for now, though users
still can convert music copied from CDs and other non-digitally
protected MP3 files into a Windows Media format and then transfer them
to the phone with a USB cable.


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