Now that Microsoft has semi-abandoned PlaysForSure for their new closed Zune system in a bid to dethrone the iPod, all those puny device manufacturers, music store operators, and retail chains are starting to look rather silly for their commitment to "open standards" and "interoperability." So now SanDisk and Real are teaming up to integrate a special Sansa e200R Rhapsody-edition lineup of the #2 DAP manufacturer's popular Sansa line with the new version 4.0 of the Rhapsody music store, one of the more popular subscription-based services. The respective market shares of both companies pales in comparison to the complete dominance of Apple's iPod/iTunes combo, but the team-up might be necessary to survive in the current market climate. Having Best Buy's weight behind the partnership shouldn't hurt either. They'll be offering their own "Best Buy Digital Music Store," which will be powered by Rhapsody, and will be offering a free two-month unlimited subscription to purchasers of a SanDisk Sansa player, after which users can continue with the service for the same $14.99 Rhapsody To Go price currently charged. The service and players are available now (Best Buy's official launch date is October 15th), and the new Sansa versions will be priced as they are now: $180 for 6GB, $250 for 8GB.

Read - BestBuy to launch music service
Read - Sansa Rhapsody