Digital music platform rises ahead
The Sony streaming music service is getting a big bump in presence thanks to an impending launch on Apple devices.
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The service will make its way to Apple's portable gadgets sometime this quarter, Sony announced at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Music Unlimited, which was first introduced as a way to stream music on the PS3 and other Sony devices, soon became a new media standard and has been reaching out to several other devices and manufacturers.
It's similar to leading online radio provider Pandora - it lets users listen to an unlimited amount of music at little to no cost but does not give users direct control over what songs they're allowed to stream.
There is a premium version of the Sony service that does allow users to find individual tracks and save them for playback whenever they want, but that service works more like Rhapsody or Napster.
For the majority of Music Unlimited users, those who don't subscribe to the premium service, the My Channels feature will be a welcome addition.
There was an update last year that gave users much more flexibility from their PS3 console, allowing them to edit their custom channels, more easily skip a song or mark one as a "disliked" track, and customize playlists.
By emerging into iPhone and iPad territory, Music Unlimited goes out of the niche Sony field and becomes a universal format. It will be very interesting to see how this shakes up the industry. After all, Sony's last push in the digital music world - Sony Connect - was an utter failure. There's nowhere to go but up with Music Unlimited.