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Sony Launches Music-Streaming Service In U.S.

2/17/2011 01:50:13 PM Eastern

Foster
City, Calif. - Sony will turn on its subscription-based music-streaming service
today at 3 p.m. PST in the U.S., where consumers can play the music through
2010 and 2011 network-connected Sony TVs, Blu-ray players, HTiB systems and PlayStation3
game consoles as well as through any PC.

The
company promises to make the customizable Music
Unlimited powered by Qriocity
service available on a wide range of portable
devices, including Sony's PlayStation Portable, Android-based smartphones from
Sony and other brands, Apple's iOS handheld devices, and possibly
Wi-Fi-connected Sony MP3 players, a spokesman told TWICE. A timetable for those
additions hasn't been set, but the spokesman called the rollout "a priority."

The
service, already available
in multiple countries
, has licensed more than 6 million songs worldwide
from the big four music labels and independents, with more to come, Sony said.
The number of songs accessible by U.S. consumers wasn't available as of this
post.

 From all compatible CE and portable devices,
consumers will also be able to use the Qriocity user interface to stream music
files and playlists stored on networked PCs' media players, including iTunes.
The songs won't stream directly from the PC to the devices; instead, the songs
will stream from the Qriocity cloud-based server once the service has analyzed
the PC's music content. One caveat is that to be streamed, the songs stored on
the computer must lack DRM (digital rights management) restrictions, and the songs
must be among the six million licensed by Qriocity, the spokesman explained.

The
service offers two monthly subscription plans: Basic at $3.99/month and Premium
at $9.99/month. Both deliver customized experiences because the service studies
users' listening habits, responds to 'like/dislike' song ratings, analyzes a
home's existing music collection, and the like, Sony said. As a result, the
service "adapts to users' music preferences and constantly tailors music
channels to offer the most compatible and enjoyable list of songs," Sony noted.

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 latter via proprietary SensMe technology. SensMe
lets users select a particular mood and uses 12-tone analysis to categorize
music tracks by the selected 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.

 Last April, Sony launched Video On Demand powered by Qriocity in the U.S. for
streaming through its devices.

 

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