Real Networks, iriver Launch clix Rhapsody

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Real Networks and iriver have launched the clix Rhapsody, a new version of iriver’s clix portable media player with integrated support for Real’s Rhapsody music service. The Rhapsody-specific version of the clix follows on the well-received launch of the Rhapsody-enabled SanDisk Sansa players last year.

"We are excited to be launching the new clix Rhapsody," said Mr. Sean Kim, CEO of Reigncom, Ltd., iriver’s parent company, in a statement. "With Rhapsody DNA technologies, we are able to introduce a number of new features to enhance the consumer’s digital music experience by providing intuitive ways to discover and enjoy new music directly on the device."

The recently redesigned iriver clix features a 2.2-inch active-matrix OLED display, an FM radio receiver, USB 2.0 connectivity, compatibility with a variety of Windows Media-supported audio and video formats, and SRS WOW sound enhancement technology. In addition, the Rhapsody-enabled clix will offer music discovery features, such as updating itself with personalized new music selections every time it touched base with the Rhapsody service. Users can rate songs, albums, and artists directly on the device, and those preferences will serve as the basis for future selections.

A 4 GB clix Rhapsody is available now through Amazon.com and other online outlets at a suggested price of $189.99. Good news for folks who’ve already bought a second-centeration clix player will be able to download a free firmware update which enables all the Rhapsody features.

In a somewhat related announcement, Real Networks has also made a deal with LyricFind to offer searchable lyrics via Rhapsody: users can search lyrics of more than 200,000 songs from nearly 2,000 publishers by artist, title, and phrases, and Rhapsody is letting the lyrics get picked up by search engines…so users hunting for a particular tune are morely likely to land at a page promoting Rhapsody. "Millions of people every day are using the Internet to enjoy music and to find out more about their favorite artists and songs," said Jason Milstead, general manager, Rhapsody Online, in a release. "Partnering with leading content providers like LyricFind enables us to capture a growing percentage of those music fans by offering the most comprehensive music experience anywhere online."

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