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RealTime IT News

A Christmas Present for Listen.com

San Francisco-based Listen.com, which operates the Rhapsody online music service, put a nice little holiday deal in its Christmas stocking, inking a pact with Sprint that will bring music to the ears of its FastConnect DSL customers as well as some PCS Vision subscribers.

Such deals are becoming more and more common as the wave of digital change sweeps through the music business. Earlier this month Los Angeles-based computer maker Gateway signed a deal with online music subscription service Pressplay (a joint venture between Vivendi Universal and Sony) to pre-load its new computers with up to 2,000 hit songs. Gateway also has a deal with Rhapsody.

In fact, it won't be long before almost all music is available digitally, all the time.

Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint said the deal means that its FastConnect DSL broadband customers can get unlimited access to Rhapsody music and burn full albums, custom mix CDs, build their own custom Internet radio stations or listen to professionally programmed stations. Sprint customers can try out Rhapsody for free until Dec. 22 by visiting here.

And, Sprint will roll out Rhapsody 411, a music information service from Listen.com that enables PCS Vision subscribers to learn more about their favorite music using their Vision-enabled PCS devices. Rhapsody 411 customers will be able to browse thousands of music recommendations, artist bios, artist discographies, full-color artist images, and album art from any location. PCS customers that use Rhapsody 411 will also be given a promotional code that will allow them to enjoy music by signing up for the Rhapsody service.

"Listen.com shares Sprint's vision for making it convenient for consumers to access digital music from anywhere," said Tim Bratton, vice president of wireless and emerging platforms for Listen.com. Financial arrangements between the companies were not disclosed. were not disclosed.

Sprint offers its FastConnect DSL service to consumers and businesses in approximately 310 communities in 34 major markets in 16 states.

Sprint is the second wireless company to develop a music service. AT&T Wireless Services also has a deal with Rhapsody, one that it signed last October. However, the wireless services are more for researching music and artists and buying tunes to be downloaded, and less for actually listening to music over the phone.

The Rhapsody 411 services also offers a feature that lets users simply enter a radio station's call letters when a song is over to find out the title and artist.