Sony Announces Cloud-Based Digital Music Service 'Music Unlimited'

By Xav de Matos, Sep 01, 2010 12:45pm PDT Following reports from Financial Times regarding an upcoming entertainment streaming service coming to the PlayStation 3, Sony has announced a new program for multiple devices that would stream new digital content to subscribers.

Specifically revealed for European customers at the IFA 2010 consumer electronics conference in Berlin, with the possibility of expansion to other markets in the future, the service "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" will be available by year's end. The subsciption-based service is a "cloud-based digital music service" giving users access to "millions of music tracks," according to the PlayStation Europe Blog.

The service will be available for PlayStation 3 and PSP devices, along with compatible Bravia televisions, Blu-ray players, VAIO computers and Blu-ray home theater systems. The application allows users to access their subscription using "one single account" with no need to "manage digital files."

Also announced was a new video on demand service, coming this fall to customers in the U.K., France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Although PlayStation 3 users already have their own version of "Video on Demand" via the PlayStation Video Store, the newly announced service will add the functionality to other devices under the Sony umbrella.

Further information is expected in the coming weeks.

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  • Assuming you have broad music label support outside of SONY/EMI.....

    There are 2 sides to the coin on this. First the home based systems (PC, Playstation 3). These can run on your home's broadband connection and while you are at home and the interface is simple and intuitive, a la iTunes, then this would be a great idea in theory.

    The other side is mobile devices. I don't know about the European infrastructure for mobile devices, but in the US we are woefully behind the times. Our providers bleed us to death for data plans (AT&T doesn't even have unlimited data anymore) so imagine the cost of streaming music constantly to your headphones or car stereo via your wireless device, to say nothing for the cost of streaming video (see hulu to your iPhone 4). Then you have to consider the trouble of loosing signal when you are traveling, on a plane, in a long care trip, in a rural area without 3G/4G coverage. I live 30 min north of Orlando, FL and there is barely any signal where I live on my carrier.

    The thing that will make or break this (and this is assuming the service can stream every song from every label known to man to accommodate the weird music people like) is if we are at the point where we do not mind not having the "physical" file on our device for us to play as we want. For when the plane hatch closes, or you drive through a mountain pass driving from Seattle to Spokane, you will not always have the coverage or you can't afford all the streaming data costs.