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Screen shot of Sony's Qriocity (Credit: Sony) Sony wants to take back digital music from Apple. The creator of the Walkman says it is ready to challenge iTunes , forge ahead into music streaming, and also put its doomed prior attempts to build iTunes-killers behind it. Today, Sony unveiled a new cloud music service in the United States that will play songs on a mix of Sony devices, such as the PlayStation3 , Bravia TVs, and Blu-ray Disc Home Theater system, as well as a range of Sony's portable devices. The service is called "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity," and hopefully the service is less clunky than the name.
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Sony Corp . and the world’s major record labels, are starting their own music streaming service in the U.S. this quarter that will challenge Apple Inc .’s iTunes, after years of letting start-ups license their artists. “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity,” which Sony unveiled in September, started in the U.K. and Ireland in December and in France , Germany , Italy and Spain this weekend. It’s available on Sony’s Playstation 3 game console, Blu-ray Disc player, Bravia televisions, personal computers, and will be on smartphones using Google Inc.’s Android operating systems. Enlarge image Sony, Record Labels to Rival Apple’s ITunes “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity,” which Sony unveiled in September, started in the U.K. and Ireland in December and in France, Germany, Italy and Spain this weekend.
Mark Harris at About.com almost got Hypebot excited about Sony's Music Unlimited service. In a headline on his blog, Harris suggested that the music service will be offering free streams. This would be a bold move. Sony Music would be challenging Spotify at its own game before even launching in the US.
At its 2011 CES press conference, Sony confirmed that its new cloud-based music streaming subscription initiative is coming to North American shores in 2011. Music Unlimited, which debuted recently in the UK and Ireland, offers subscribers access to over six million songs from every major label for a reasonable monthly fee. The service can merge with your existing music catalog and learn your music listening behaviors over time, which helps it determine recommendations.
Sony said today it will introduce its Music Unlimited cloud music service in North America in the coming months. Music streaming services have got a lot of attention in recent months as a force that could make music downloads obsolete. Apple recognized the threat when it bought music streaming service LaLa. Spotify serves music streams in Europe, but it has apparently been stymied because of complex talks with copyright holders. Sony is in a different position because it owns the rights to a huge library of music.