As part of a far-reaching effort to add a line of consumer electronics to its arsenal, PC maker
announced Thursday plans to introduce its own variations on Apple’s iPod and iTunes Music Store for this upcoming holiday season.
Although details are still scant, the company indicates that it will produce the Dell Digital Jukebox, or DJ — a “digital music player featuring a sleek design, with large storage capacity, excellent battery life and easy to use controls.”
In September Apple introduced new 20GB and 40GB iPods. The iPod, priced from US$299 to $499, connects to either Macs or PCs using a dock connector and FireWire or USB 2.0 interfaces. The iPod is already in its third generation — the device features a “no moving parts” navigation wheel and backlit button, and it doubles as a bootable storage device.
What’s more, the Round Rock, Texas-based maker of custom PCs said it will offer commercially available music downloads through the “Dell Music Store.” The store will feature “thousands of music selections” and allow downloading to the Dell DJ itself. The Dell Music Store will also analyze customers’ song play history and will make recommendations about specific artists and songs that customers can purchase using the service.
Apple’s iTunes Music Store debuted this past April. The service features more than 200,000 songs published by commercial artists represented by all five of the major music publishing companies. Apple notes that the iTunes Music Store has sold more than 10 million songs to date. Available only for the Mac up until now, iTunes will be released for Windows by the end of 2003, according to Apple.
Dell also introduced its own 17-inch wide-format LCD TV; the “Dell Media Experience” application, media center control software that will be added to its Dimension desktop line; the Axim X3 handheld and a digital projector.
Dell said the new products will roll out in October to coincide with a redesigned Web site. Pricing and additional details of the new devices and services are expected to be announced when they become available.