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Friday, February 18, 2011
Sony's Qriocity Music Service Available in the United States

Sony today announced that its music service "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity," will be available today in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

"Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" is a new, cloud-based, digital music service which gives music lovers access at any time to songs from major labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Music as well as independent labels and major publishers worldwide. The "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" catalogue will initially offer about six million songs and will continue to expand over time, according to Sony.

The service debuted in the U.K. and Ireland in December 2010 and became available in France, Germany, Italy and Spain in January 2011.

Users can play music any time through "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" on a wide variety of Internet-connected Sony devices including Sony's 2010 and 2011 models of network-enabled BRAVIA TV, Blu-ray Disc player, Blu-ray Disc Home Theater system, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system as well as VAIO and other personal computers. All existing PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems in these countries will have access to the service. It will also become available on a wide range of Sony's portable devices, as well as on Sony and third-party Android-based mobile devices and other portable devices.

Sony will offer users basic ($3.99, AU$4.99, NZ$5.99) and premium ($9.99, AU$12.99, NZ$13.99) monthly subscription plans. The Basic plan works as an infinite ad-free radio station and subscribers can listen to personalized channels - categorized by genre, era as well as mood through SensMe (Sony's proprietary 12 Tone Analysis technology to evaluate music tracks) - without the requirement to download or manage their music files. Additionally, the Premium subscription plan offers a one-time 30 day Premium free trial enabling users to listen in full to every song on demand, create personal playlists of favorites, and gain access to Top 100 channels which are regularly updated with the latest hits.

By studying users' listening habits, incorporating their 'like/dislike' song ratings, analyzing their existing music collections and more, "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" adapts to users' music preferences and constantly tailors music channels to offer the most compatible list of songs. hannels become.

Furthermore, users can also synchronize their existing music files and playlists from other media players including iTunes into "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity," and enjoy their existing music at any time across all compatible devices (applies to DRM-free music files and to music which has been licensed for playback on "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity")

Powering the back-end of "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" are Omnifone and Gracenote. Omnifone provided its platform services to develop and deliver the service across a range of device platforms as well as licensed the service with rights holders around the world to provide a global catalogue of more than six million tracks, while Gracenote's music identification and discovery technologies and Global Media Database lets subscribers enjoy their existing digital music collection and discover new artists and albums within the service.

Sony also debuted "Video On Demand powered by Qriocity," the first service 'powered by Qriocity,' in April 2010 in the U.S. Currently, "Video On Demand powered by Qriocity" is also available in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the U.K. Through the same log-in ID & wallet, users can access both "Video On Demand powered by Qriocity" and "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" across their compatible devices.4 Applicable in markets where both services are currently available i.e. France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.S. and the U.K.

New Sony multimedia tablet ?

In related news, Sony is expected to launch tablet PCs with multimedia functionalities in the second quarter of 2011.

Digitimes.com web site today reported that Sony would likely outsource production to Quanta Computer, citing industry sources.

Sony's new devices will reportedly run on Android 3.0 and will be able to play, music and offer e-book reading.

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