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Monday, September 04, 2006
Samsung Introduces Portable Digital Audio Player

Samsung Electronics launches the K5 Digital Audio Player: a flash-memory based MP3 player with built-in slide-out speakers, OLED LCD display, and a sleek one-button design.

The Samsung K5 offers two small clear speakers built right into the compact device. This technology delivers better sound than anything you would expect could fit in your pocket.

Now consumers can entertain guests with a big sound out of a small package. For those users on-the-go the player still offers consumers the option of listening to their music privately with a set of base thumping ear buds.

The K5's slide-out speakers deliver rich, smooth audio and its sliding out speakers upholds the K5's slick look.

Breaking new ground in both form and functionality, the K5 is the first Samsung digital audio player to use OLED technology. The display and navigational array are smooth to the touch with sparkly ice blue adaptive graphics. The menu and navigation system is simple to use and add to the product's appeal. Another most requested travel function is an alarm clock which the K5 sports, allowing consumers to wake up to their favorite songs rather than a jolting alarm clock buzz.

The K5 also displays JPEGs with a 1.7-inch full-color screen for bright, clear images.

Once the party is started, it may as well keep going, so the K5 was designed with a hearty battery life of up to 30 hours using earphones, or 6 hours in speaker mode. The K5 supports consumer's existing MP3 collection or popular subscription services such as Napster, Rhapsody, Yahoo, and Urge so they can easily play their content transferred from a PC.

The K5 also features a built-in FM radio tuner and supports MP3, WMA, WMA DRM10 and JPEG formats. It is available in black and will ship later in the year in pink.

Samsung's K5 will be available on September 10th at $209.99 MSRP (2GB) and $259.99 MSRP (4GB).

Online music service

Samsung also plans to introduce its own online music service to compete against Apple's market-leading iTunes-iPod franchise and Microsoft's upcoming Zune music products.

The South Korean-based electronics giant said Friday it will work with media provider MusicNet to launch a music subscription and download service later this year in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. Samsung said it plans to later expand the service throughout Europe and Asia.

Samsung said the online music service will be compatible with its upcoming line of portable MP3 and media players, but did not disclose further details about the service, pricing or fees.

Analysts expect the company will try and achieve a similar kind of integration between the music software and portable devices as Apple's iTunes Music Store and iPod player combination.

Others, including Sony, have had little success so far against the iTunes and iPod juggernaut.

Samsung's move comes on the heels of Microsoft's announcement in July of plans for its own branded music player and online music service, meaning the Redmond, Wash.-based giant would no longer rely solely on other music services or hardware partners like Samsung or Creative Technologies Ltd. to make products that are compatible with Microsoft's digital media software.

MusicNet said music from the Samsung online service, like other MusicNet-powered outlets, will use Microsoft's Windows Media Player technology.

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