Dell Tests Music Player to Renew iPod Battle

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Dell is one of the big giants in the PC-making industry. They have forayed into some digital gadgets in the past including handhelds, mobiles and music players. However, for some reason, they discontinued them all and focused on making desktops and laptops.

That may all change. Rumors are going around about Dell testing out a new device that plays music, a digital music player, a portable music player or maybe a iPod killer. It’s not a new frontier for Dell, in the past they did make mp3 players and it did quite well especially the DJ Ditty, a sub $100 flash based PMP, and a line of hard drive based music players. However, these devices were discontinued in 2006.

Now, like I said, rumors are gong around that Dell may be making a new music player to challenge the iPod which has been wreaking havoc in the music industry like the devil himself. Moreover, Dell is also planning their own music subscription service. All too familiar? Well, it looks like they really are rallying to wage war on the iPod, and iTunes. Here’s the clincher, Dell is also planning to pre-install their music store on their PC’s and probably make the music player work for their PC’s exclusively. Nothing’s final yet but it sure looks like they want to go head to head with all of Apple’s businesses.

Reasons? It may be Windows Vista. That OS from Microsoft is really a bummer which boosted the record sales of the Apple Mac. Apple and its OS X are gaining a lot of traction that really hurts Microsoft and hurts PC makers, including Dell a whole lot more since their machines rely on Windows.

So, to counter the effects of the Apple revolution, Dell is taking the fight into its own hands instead of relying on Microsoft. The plan is, make more stimulating hardware designs (since Apple always gets praise for that) then create a differentiated consumer experience for digital media and entertainment, and make it available only on a Dell. In comes the MP3 player, a device that’s got a great design and a required subscription service.

The Wall Street Journal’s story says:

"Software would connect the device to an online subscription service that Dell expects to launch later this year. Through licensing agreements with online music providers, Dell’s new service will let consumers download songs and move them between devices like PCs and cell phones. While the device Dell is testing is focused on playing music, Dell’s new service also would allow movies to be downloaded and displayed on PCs, for example. Pricing for the new service hasn’t been determined."

Again, this is all just a rumor still. But it would be really great to see some iPod competition later this year.

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