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Motorola unveils new music phone

Eric Benderoff
Chicago Tribune

LAS VEGAS - In a preemptive strike in advance of a widely expected announcement from Apple Computer Inc. to break into the mobile phone business, Motorola Inc. on Monday introduced a new music phone and software interface.

Dubbed MotoMusic, the software will be included on the MotoRizr Z6, a music phone expected to be available in the first half of 2007.

Pricing for the phone and where it will be available was not disclosed. Motorola CEO Ed Zander made the announcement during a keynote address at the 2007 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.

Zander and Chris White, Motorola's senior director of multimedia experiences, showed how easy it is to drag-and-drop a song using Windows Media Player software into a file for the Rizr phone. The user then plugs the phone into a computer and the music moves over into the phone.

The software, developed by Motorola, was built on a Linux platform and integrates with Windows media software. It can access multiple online music stores, but not Apple's iTunes.

Likewise, Motorola's Rizr phone is not the long-awaited successor to the Rokr line of music phones. The first Rokr used Apple's iTunes software to play music, but Apple limited Motorola to load up to 100 songs on the phone.

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