By now, you've heard about the Nokia 5800 Xpress Music, which was announced at the Nokia Remix event in London on Wednesday. Sure, the main headline may be the 5800's touch screen (a first for Nokia's cell phone line), but the handset isn't all about looks; it's got musical talent too.
Like the company's other Xpress Music phones, including the Nokia 5610 Xpress Music and the Nokia 5310 Xpress Music, the 5800 offers some advanced multimedia capabilities, particularly in the music category, but unlike previous models, the 5800 steps it up with the Nokia's Comes With Music service. What the heck is that you ask? Good question.
To provide a little background first, Nokia first unveiled its plans for the service back in December 2007. Nokia Comes With Music isn't an add-on service, but rather comes preloaded on select devices and gives you a year of unlimited access to any songs from the Nokia Music Store. Everything's included in the price of the handset; there are no additional subscription fees.
To give you a better idea of what is and isn't offered by the service, we've compiled this short Q&A about Comes With Music, which were answered with the help of a Nokia representative. Also, if you have a question about Nokia Comes With Music that wasn't covered here, please feel free to post it in the comments section and we'll do our best to get answered for you.
Q: Comes With Music lets customers buy an unlimited number of tracks from the Nokia Music Store but are there any limitations or restrictions?'
A: Comes With Music gives people a year of unlimited access to the Nokia Music Store catalog--from millions of tracks from a wide range of artists, including international hits and local talent--with the capability to keep all downloaded tracks.
Q: After a year, what's the cost to continue the service?
A: Once the Comes With Music first year service has expired, users can keep all the music they've downloaded and continue to update their collection with a la carte purchases. Pricing of a la carte depends on the Nokia Music Store pricing in the various regions.
Q: Will the tracks just be limited to use on the phone or can they downloaded to users' computers as well?
A: Nokia provides seamless access to a world of music--people can download music directly to their Comes With Music device or via their compatible personal computer. Plus, people can easily transfer tracks and playlists between their Nokia device and computer using the Nokia Music for PC software.
Q: Will the tracks with DRM protected?
A: Tracks and playlists can be shared between registered Comes With Music users (subject to confirmation that the user holds an active Comes With Music license). Users can play downloaded songs on the mobile device and personal computer that have been registered with the Comes With Music account, and transfer tracks between the registered devices. Users can purchase additional rights for the songs via the Nokia Music Store link, if they wish to burn tracks to CD or to sync to unregistered devices.
Q: What's available in the Nokia Music Store catalog?
A: All the major labels--including Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI--have signed up to support Comes With Music, as well as a range of independent labels.
Q: What are the rollout dates for Comes With Music? Specifically, the U.S.?
A: The United Kingdom will be the first market to offer Comes With Music with sales planned to start on October 16. Nokia is planning to announce additional Comes With Music markets in the coming months, but has not made that specific announcement at this time.
As you can see from the last question, Nokia skirted the U.S. availability question, but considering that the Nokia Music Store has been live in other parts of the world since 2007 and has yet to launch here in the States, it doesn't give us much confidence. I mean, the Nokia 5800 Xpress Music has the sex appeal to attract a nice crowd, but without the music services, how's it going to compete with a certain other music phone?