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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 12:34 GMT
Music trial taps into Bluetooth
Nokia N90 mobile
The service works with phones like the Nokia N90
The Bluetooth short-range radio system could soon be used for streaming music to mobile phones.

Handset maker Nokia and music label EMI have started a project to let coffee shop customers listen to music sent to their phone via Bluetooth.

As well as music, customers will be able to get hold of ringtones, wallpaper, video clips and vouchers.

The first free tests of the service will be in six coffee shops and music stores in Helsinki, Finland.

Sound store

The trials will take place in three Robert's Coffee cafes in Helsinki and three FreeRecordShop music stores in the city.

While in the shops, customers will be able to select and listen to tracks sent to them via the short-range radio system.

Triallists must download software to their handsets that will let them browse the tracks on offer. The service is designed to work with Series 60 Symbian phones (such as Nokia's N90 and the Siemens SX1) and Nokia Series 40 phones (such as the 6060 and the 8800).

Alison Goldfrapp performing in the Electric Arena at the Electric Picnic music festival
Goldfrapp are an EMI artist
The trial service, dubbed bFree, will be free for those taking part. But Nokia and EMI expect to charge for access to the playlists if a commercial system is rolled out.

EMI has yet to say which artists will be available on the trial playlists. EMI represents such artists as Robbie Williams, Goldfrapp and Gorillaz.

The announcement comes as many phone makers seek to turn handsets into devices capable of doing much more than help people make and take calls.

Many phones now have a radio onboard, come with memory cards and operators offer customers the chance to download tracks. Dedicated music-playing phones have been produced by Motorola and Sony.

Many phone users already use Bluetooth to connect their handset to a headset so they can talk to callers hands-free. Some also use it to connect their phone to a PC or to swap pictures and other information.

Bluetooth was developed to help portable devices easily swap data via radio and it has a range of a few tens of metres.

Nokia is planning to give the first look at the technology at the Nokia Mobility Conference 2005 held in Barcelona from 2-3 November.

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