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XM integrates Napster for radio downloads

Companies launch joint music offering to let XM subscribers download what they hear on subscription satellite radio.

Napster and XM Satellite Radio on Monday unveiled a beta version of a joint music offering.

The new service is designed to let satellite radio subscribers access, purchase and download broadcasts on about 70 music channels available over XM, the companies said. In addition, users can access Napster's music catalog and buy tracks from it. The XM + Napster service is available at a new Web site, to be marketed by both companies.

Music downloaded from the service can be played on portable MP3 players available now, the companies said. XM plans to introduce MP3 players that can record and store content from radio for listening later, the company said.

The pay-radio company recently reported a third-quarter loss but reaffirmed hopes of reaching a subscriber base of 6 million by the end of 2005, from 5 million reported in September. The company has recently signed a few content deals to boost its radio offerings.

"XM + Napster greatly enhances the discovery aspect of XM by letting people instantly purchase and download the music they hear on XM Radio Online from Napster's catalog, dig deeper into artists' digital-music collections and use Napster's programming expertise to discover related artists and genres," XM Chief Operating Officer Hugh Panero said in a statement.