Rio Players Get Janus Compatibility

Rio announced on Tuesday that its Carbon and ce2100 lines of MP3 players will now add "Janus" compatibility, allowing customers to use newer subscription music services such as Napster-to-Go and FYE's Dowload Zone. The company also expects more subscription services based on Janus to surface by the end of the year.

The capability can be added to existing players through a downloadable firmware upgrade from the company's website. All new Rio players will ship with built-in Janus support.

"We are pleased to provide our customers with the ultimate digital music solution through the portable music subscription model," Dan Torres, Vice President of Product Marketing at Rio said. "For the customer who wants freedom of choice in where or how they legally explore, discover, and purchase music, the Rio Carbon and Rio ce2100 product lines are the best solutions."

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Microsoft's Janus has become the popular digital rights management technology behind many of the subscription music services available on the market today. Even Microsoft competitor Real Networks decided to use Janus DRM to run its Rhapsody-to-Go subscription service.

In addition to the subscription compatibility announcement, Rio also said it is now shipping the Rio Carbon 6GB Pearl, which carries a 20-hour battery life. The price of the unit will be $229 USD.

In comparison, the Apple iPod Mini 6GB retails for $249 USD.

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