Sony Music Unlimited
I take a second look at Sony’s Spotify rival after it widens platform support.
- 15 million track library
- Web browser, Android, iOS, PS3 & Bravia apps
- Music matching from existing libraries
- High efficiency streaming audio format
- Basic & Premium subscriptions
According to Thomas Edison “genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration”. It is a phrase which nicely sums up the slow and somewhat painful evolution of Sony’s ‘Music Unlimited’ audio service and while it still remains a long way from genius, there is no doubt its IQ is on the rise. What is Music Unlimited? First announced way back in September 2010, Sony initially took the baffling decision to focus ‘Qriocity Music Unlimited’ on its smart TVs and PS3 games console. It launched an Android app in June 2011 and dropped the messy Qriocity (pronounced ‘Curiosity’) branding, but only with this month’s long awaited launch of an iOS app do we finally have a multiplatform service to potentially rival Spotify and Rdio. So does it measure up?
Concept In many ways Music Unlimited is both more ambitious and more limiting than its rivals. In the plus column is the fact it is built into the wider hub of the Sony Entertainment Network which includes Video Unlimited and the PlayStation Network (separate subscriptions). In addition it is plugged into Sony’s existing ecosystem of PS3, PlayStation Vitaand Bravia smart TVs as well as its (and all third party) Android smartphones and tablets. In this sense no other service is as comprehensive for Sony aficionados. Where things take a more familiar turn is the primary functionality of Music Unlimited itself. Users can create playlists, share their listening on social media and download music for offline listening. Like Rdio (but not Spotify) it also can add searched for content to a library of music sorted by artist, album and song and will scan and match your PC’s existing digital music collection. Furthermore Sony claims to offer industry leading streaming performance thanks to its own highly efficient codecs (more of which later).
Apps As we mentioned in the intro, what marks Music Unlimited’s true arrival on the streaming music scene is its support of the biggest platforms…
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