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XM Teams with Samsung and Napster

It was a busy time for satellite radio last week: In an attempt to increase its subscriber-base and the attractiveness of its service, XM Satellite Radio made two big announcements. The first was an announcement in conjunction with consumer-electronics manufacturer Samsung, which is working on a new MP3 player that will also work as a satellite-radio receiver. The company has teamed with XM to create music players that will include a kit that receives XM Satellite Radio content. First up will be two flash memory-based models with different storage capacities; these will be available by the end of the year. In addition to the ability to play music downloaded from a PC (like any other MP3 player) and receive XM radio, the players will also be able to record and store XM programs when used with a home or car docking station. The stored content will be able to be played anywhere, including places where XM service might not be available, such as the subway. XM also announced a related partnership with Napster. The companies will launch a new service called XM + Napster which will let XM customers easily access, purchase, and manage music from XM and Napster. The service will work with the Samsung XM/MP3 player. When the player is connected to a PC, the service will match songs played from XM with Napster's music catalog and make the tracks available for purchasing. The service will also link up with XM's Online Radio offerings. XM + Napster will be available later this year.

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