Best Buy Launches Online Music Store

It will partner with RealNetworks and SanDisk.
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Consumer electronics powerhouse

Best Buy

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announced a new music service on Thursday, designed by


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and compatible with



MP3 players.

Real's Rhapsody service will supply the new Best Buy Digital Music Store. Customers can access limitless songs on their PC or portable device if they pay the $14.99 monthly subscription fee, or buy permanent downloads a la carte for 99 cents.

Best Buy, in turn, will sell SanDisk's Sansa e200R Rhapsody MP3 players, which will be linked with Best Buy's new online music store. The device costs $139.99 for 2-gigabyte model, or $249.99 for the 8-GB player, and includes a free two-month subscription to the digital music shop.

The music service and the new portable devices will be available at Best Buy stores on Oct. 15.

"The Best Buy Digital Music Store and Sansa e200R Rhapsody are part of that goal allowing us to provide an end-to-end digital music solution that will deliver unique content and a premium customer experience," Jennifer Schaidler, vice president of music for Best Buy, said in a statement. "Whether they want to purchase downloads or a subscription and have access to all the music, we're giving consumers the ability to enjoy entertainment on their terms."

Included in Best Buy's new online music catalog is an exclusive track from Sean "Diddy" Combs, timed to coincide with the release of his new CD,

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RealNetworks shares added 20 cents to $11.11 in recent trading. Best Buy, meanwhile, shed 32 cents to $56.28 and SanDisk subtracted $1.32 to $55.06