Nokia's Ovi Opens Door To Music, Internet Services

The platform is a rebundling of Nokia services such as its N-Gage games and its Nokia Music store that sync up with existing social networks, communities, and content.
The N81 and N81 8Gbyte have dedicated music and gaming keys to go along with 3G and WLAN connectivity. The device is configured for easy purchasing, managing and playing of Nokia Music Store songs and N-Gage games. The Nokia N95 8 Gbyte features a 5 megapixel camera along with GPS, WLAN, HSDPA and two-slide capability. The N95 8 Gbyte holds up to 20 hours of video and 6,000 songs.

Also unveiled Wednesday were the Nokia 5310 Xpress Music phone and the Nokia 5610 Xpress Music phone. Both devices are music players and have digital cameras.

The Nokia Music Store typically delivers tracks in 192Kbps audio in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format, Nokia said, noted that a Nokia Music PC client to be available later this year will enable easy transfer of purchased songs.

"You can select from a huge range of music, including local music from your country, and download it directly to your Nokia device," said Tommi Mustonen, head of Nokia's music activities, in a statement. "You can choose between purchasing tracks a la carte via your Nokia device or computer, or you can stream an unlimited number of full length tracks to your computer."

Individual tracks will cost one Euro (about $1.37) and albums for 10 Euros ($13.66). A monthly subscription for PC steaming is listed at 10 Euros as well.

While Nokia made no mention of the music or gaming offerings for North American markets, there was speculation that Nokia will find a way to bring the offerings there in the future. A major hurdle is represented by U.S. mobile phone service providers, which have sometimes resisted third parties selling music and games over their networks.

As for the Nokia N95 for North American markets, Nokia said it will be available next month. The company said the computer's HSDPA technology will enable speeds of 384 kbps with WCDMA. The technology is eventually expected to be capable of reaching speeds of over 10 Mbps.

"On HSDPA networks, browsing the Internet, reading e-mail, streaming video and downloading large files can be carried out up to 10 times faster than over EDGE," Nokia said.