The download service is what you’d expect: major-label acts, DRMed Windows media files, and so on. You can subscribe to the service for a monthly fee, during which time you can download as much music as you like. Not unexpectedly, the files will stop working if you stop subscribing. You can also opt for the 99-cents-per-track model, in which you don’t have a time limit, and you can play the tracks on your MusicGremlin or on up to 3 PCs.
The player itself is where things get interesting. It’s Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to access the MusicGremlin store from any accessible Wi-Fi network. You can also order music on your PC and download it to your player via Wi-Fi later. MusicGremlin players in close proximity can also talk to one another and share playlists. If you have a subscription plan, you can download subscription-based music from someone else’s player. Lastly, the MusicGremlins service can send recommended music and firmware updates via the Wi-Fi connection.
Not bad for a 1.0; I like the idea of a service/hardware combo that works with the concept of remote access and music discovery (though of course the latter only really works if there’s a reasonable number of MusicGremlins out there). Here’s hoping that the concept, in whatever form, takes off.
Sure, it’s not an iPod, but the WiFi built in is pretty compelling. I’d love for my iPod to automatically update its podcast subscriptions.