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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.

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