Rhapsody Embraces WiFi, Delivers Networked Device

Music fans are increasingly swimming in WiFi waters, and that is stirring demand for a different kind of device.

Just recently, manufacturer Haier America joined forces with Rhapsody America and AOL Video to deliver the Ibiza Rhapsody, a swanky-sounding handheld.  The name actually refers to a series of devices, all of which tie into available wireless connections.  “Freedom from the PC is what will drive this market in the months to come and the Ibiza Rhapsody is poised to deliver music and other content at a level no other device can offer,” said Michael Jemal, president and chief executive of Haier America.

The Ibiza is immediately available in a 30GB model, and both 4GB and 8GB flash-based players will soon be offered.  The players will carry price points of $329, $229, and $249, respectively, and will be sold at retail partner Amazon.  The Ibiza Rhapsody offers free access to tens of thousands of user-generated videos through AOL, and the player is optimized for subscription-based Rhapsody To Go, a $14.95 portable subscription offering.  Other features include podcast support, Bluetooth connectivity, and FM radio receptivity.