SanDisk partnering with Real on Sansa Rhapsody line

Apple has certainly struck gold with its finely tuned iPod+iTunes system, and Microsoft is seemingly ditching that whole PlaysForSure effort in exchange for the upcoming Zune Marketplace, so RealNetworks has joined the bandwagon by narrowing its focus (and hopefully the scope of incompatibility issues) by teaming with SanDisk to produce the Sansa Rhapsody. While the company already nailed down a partnership with Slim Devices, it's now venturing into the saturated DAP market by co-engineering an e200 with specialized Rhapsody software -- dubbed Rhapsody DNA -- to ensure the device consistently plays nice with Real's services. SanDisk is looking to release 2, 4, and 6GB editions of the Rhapsody-friendly Sansas, as well as offering its expandable 8GB e280 model for those toting the heftiest of subscription playlists. Aside from the (supposedly) guaranteed compatibility, these special units will apparently come stocked with 32 hours of tunes from a plethora of record labels that goes MIA if not synced with a Rhapsody account within 30 days. While there's no hard deets on pricing nor availability, we don't envision SanDisk charging anything extra just for keeping it Real.

[Via GigaOM]