In addition to the installed tracks, the device will allow subscribers to download music from the Rhapsody database. It will also offer automatic downloads based on a user's personal preference and download history.
The partnership adds a new player to the growing field of iPod challengers, according to senior IDC analyst Susan Kevorkian.
SanDisk's decision to partner with Real adds a third combination of media player and DRM-powered download service. Apple is using its FairPlay DRM for its iT unes store, while Microsoft relies on its Windows Media technology.
"This signals a point where a major MP3 player manufacturer is combining with a major music service to develop a device and service not based on Microsoft's technology," said Kevorkian.
The Sansa e200 will be offered in 2GB, 4GB, 6GB and 8GB models, and will be able to display photos and movie clips. It features an FM tuner/recorder and offers a claimed battery life of up to 20 hours.
The device will be available this Autumn in the US only. The companies did not disclose any plans to launch in other regions.
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