updated 10:50 am EDT, Mon September 25, 2006
Mercora M Service
Since few cellphones have access to satellite radio, music services built for the handhelds usually require a complete download from a separate source before the music can play. Mercora has today launched a service that not only saves subcribers from having to preload music, but gives them access to a much larger potential collection of music than modern storage would allow. Instead of asking the user to buy songs and transfer them from a computer or a provider's network, the M service streams the user's computer music library to a compatible cellphone on request, giving access to the entire computer's catalog. M is also capable of sharing music from others, according to the company. Subscribers have access to thousands of Internet radio stations and will eventually be able to stream music from the libraries of five other M subscribers without legal restrictions. The service currently requires a Windows PC and a Windows Mobile 5 smartphone but is also a relatively inexpensive alternative to microSD cards: it is offering subscriptions now for $50 per year and says initial subscribers will have free service until the end of October.