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Sony Extends Music Streaming To Walkman Portables

9/01/2011 10:24:59 AM Eastern

Berlin - Sony will extend its
renamed on-line music service to Walkman MP3/video players this month when
three new previously announced Walkman series become available in U.S. stores,
the company announced here at the IFA show.

The service, formerly called
Qriocity and now called Music Unlimited, is a streaming-music service for 2010 and 2011 network-connected Sony TVs, Blu-ray players,
HTiB systems, and PlayStation 3 game console as well as for any PC. For the
Walkman players and the PlayStation Portable, however, Music Unlimited turns
into a subscription-download service in which music is downloaded to a PC and
then sideloaded to the portable devices.

One subscription price lets
users access the service through any their Sony devices or PCs.

Sony will offer a free 180-day
trial of Music Unlimited service to people who buy the MP3/video players and
are first-time users of Music Unlimited. The service accesses more than 10
million songs from the big four music labels and independents.

Users can sideload individual songs or channels
for playback on the portable devices.

As
previously announced
, the
touchscreen NWZ-A860 A
series model is available in 8GB and 16GB capacities at suggested retails of
$179 and $219, respectively. The NWZ-S760BT S series is available only in an 8GB
version at

$149 but in two colors: black or white. The E series NWZ-E460 features FM
tuner and comes in five colors and three capacities: 4GB at $79, 8GB at $89;
and 16GB at $109. The A and S series also feature stereo Bluetooth.


The
service
offers two monthly subscription plans: Basic at $3.99/month and
Premium at $9.99/month. Both deliver customized experiences by studying users'
listening habits, responding to 'like/dislike' song ratings, analyzing a home's
existing music collection, and the like, Sony has said.

The Basic plan, which includes unlimited forward skipping, lets users listen to dozens of ad-free personalized
channels categorized by genre, era, and mood. The premium service adds
the ability to select all songs on demand, create
personal playlists, and access 100 channels that are regularly updated with the
latest hits.