Samsung, maker of many an MP3 player, is planning to launch a UK digital music service later this year and will also open stores in France and Germany. The company is planning to ape the iTunes model and offer a complete music solution with player, online store and jukebox software all combined. MusicNet will be Samsung’s partner and so offer a catalogue of about 2 million songs.

The store rollout will be combined with the launch of a new range of digital audio players, including the K5. Going head-to-head with Microsoft’s expected Zune launch and the Apple/iPod/iTunes combo is admirable and also signals the end of the messy and never quite worked PlaysForSure intiative, which aimed to combine many players and many outlets but was dogged by firmware, software and player compatibility problems.

Simplicity will sell, so roll on the new services.