Sony to Challenge Apple Itunes

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On Wednesday, Sony fired a warning shot across the bow of iTunes. The tech giant is launching a new subscription-based streaming music service - first teased last September - that takes direct aim at iTunes' dominance in the world of digital music and entertainment. But according to Sony, don't expect a blatant iTunes' knock-off. Sony has something different planned. And it's pretty obvious what that is.

"Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" differs from iTunes primarily in that content is streamed directly to its users. There's no downloading or purchasing of songs or albums involved. Given the nature of the technology, the service won't initially be available on mobile devices like the iPhone. At present, however, the service as a whole isn't even available in the US or Canada. North America will largely be shut out until some time next year, right along with Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and New Zealand. For the time being, only folks in the U.K. and Ireland can enjoy the new offering from Sony beginning today.

...a subscription gives users access to a catalog of about 6 million songs, which can be streamed across Sony's Internet-connected devices like the PlayStation 3, personal computers and Bravia TVs. The service can be synchronized with a user's existing music files, including iTunes.
Kazuo Hirai, Sony's executive vice president and head of the company's Networked Products and Services division, says the launch of the new service will initially serve to enhance the attractiveness of Sony-branded products, but eventually the cloud-based digital music platform will be able to "stand on its own."

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