The unlimited music offer is backed by leading music companies Universal, Warner, Sony and EMI, which is an impressive achievement by Cricket. Songs will be downloaded at a compression of 32 kilobits per second. This, however, will not impact quality as much as you would expect on an MP3 file, because the efficient Dolby PCM codec is used. The aggressive compression will be used to squeeze in up to 3,000 songs on the limited space of 1GB on the phone. The songs themselves will not be DRMed, but rather they will be stored on the 1GB encrypted SanDisk TrustedFlash partition to prevent piracy. Additional 4 and 8 gigabyteTrustedFlash-enabled memory cards will be offered by Cricket to extend storage capacity.
The music service will initially come only on the Samsung Suede and will be available exclusively through the phone. Later however, the service will expand to 6 to 8 more handsets, including smartphones. "Our goal is to integrate this across our portfolio in 2011," Jeff Toig, VP of product marketing at Cricket said.
The service could prove popular among younger users (yes, ringtones are free as well) and Cricket claims that it is exactly what its subscribers want, but in the current smartphone times we are left wondering if a dumbphone launching with unlimited music will have that much of an appeal. In any case, the service sounds promising and, as far as we know, it really is the first to go with unlimited music. Muve Music and the Suede will be launched at CES on January 6th, which is just weeks apart, so the wait will not be long.
source: Cricket via PC Magazine