On the last day of the Handango Partner Summit 2005, there was a Developer Showcase that gave a few software developers the opportunity to showcase their current mobile product or new and upcoming versions. Far and away the most momentous of the four demos was the demo by NormSoft of the latest version of Pocket Tunes Deluxe due out in July.
PocketTunes is arguably the most popular and succesful music player software for Palm devices (I'm ahead of the palmOne folks in dropping the "One"). Targeted at Treo owners, the current version was already innovative in its ability to let users listen to streaming mp3's via Shoutcast internet radio. From a business standpoint they also had a major recent win by getting Palm to pre-install PocketTunes Basic on all of the new Palm LifeDrive devices (the ones with the 4GB hard drive).
The latest innovation from NormSoft is enabling Pocket Tunes compatibility with all major portable music subscription services. While this RealNetworks press release hinted at this upcoming Pocket Tunes Deluxe release it only mentioned compatibility between LifeDrive devices and Rhapsody. The demo from last Friday showed compatibility with Yahoo! Music Unlimited and the NormSoft representative said it would be compatible with all Palm OS 5 devices and all major subscription services including Napster, Yahoo! Music Unlimited and Rhapsody.
While I don't have the stats to back it up I'd argue there might be as many Palm OS 5 devices in the market as there are Janus-compatible digital music players, so this is big news for the portable music subscriptions business.
Can't wait to sync my Rhapsody collection with my Treo 600 so I can listen to the music I'm exploring while I'm on the go. Still happy to use my iPod for my full music collection, though. Just glad I don't have by another device . . .