updated 11:10 am EDT, Wed October 31, 2007
Nokia Music Store Open
Nokia today announced the imminent launch of its first Nokia Music Store, which is now set to launch on November 1st in the UK. First revealed in August, the service will let users download from a catalog of "millions" of songs, either directly to phones such as the N81 or N95 8GB or else to a PC, which can sideload the tracks to a larger number of supporting handsets. Prices will match stores like iTunes in the country with songs costing 80p each and albums from £8, Nokia claims. Whether on a phone or a PC, users will be able to earmark songs to buy later or get personal recommendations.
Stores are expected to open in other territories in coming months but have not been specified by Nokia, which is the first handset designer outside of Apple to offer its own music store. Most cellphone-oriented stores are partly managed by carriers and often charge extra to cover the data use for each download.
In time with the unveiling, Nokia today also launched the BH-101 (pictured below), a Bluetooth headset for users who just want basic hands-free calling functions with phones that support the hands-free profile. The earpiece uses an adjustable ear loop and a built-in battery that runs for up to eight hours of continuous talk time before needing a recharge. It should be available in the US and abroad before the end of the year for $40.