Nokia is getting serious about music and is shoping to take on the might of the Apple machine. It weighed into the digital music market by acquiring Loudeye for $60 million last week. Loudeye includes the assets of OD2, which it bought previously. Nokia seems to have tired of waiting for a decent partner or solution and seems to be fast-tracking a music play to complement the new raft of handsets its rolling out, some of which boast up to 4Gb of storage.

The Nokia buyout has again focused eyes on Napster and whether it remains viable as a standalone player when its struggling to sell the subscriber story. However, its free-access, ad-driven service has been a success, which would drive the price a little higher. Personally, though I like the service, I can’t see it surviving as a standalone. It needs a big brother to really push it out across platforms and into the marketing eye of the public to seriously compete with Apple and iTunes/iPod.

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