Sony launches streaming music service to take on Apple's iTunes

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Sony on Wednesday launched a new streaming music subscription service which it hopes will take on Apple's iTunes by offering a different approach to digital music sales.



"Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" is a cloud-based digital music service. Unlike iTunes, users do not purchase and download tracks. Instead, they stream them.



The service is not available on portable devices, meaning users can't take their music on the go. The service debuted Wednesday in Ireland and the U.K., and will launch in the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and New Zealand in 2011.



Kazuo Hirai, executive vice president of Sony, said the initial focus of the product is to enhance the appeal of Sony products versus competitors like Apple and Microsoft, according to The Associated Press. But he said "over time" the service would need to "stand on its own."



"We realized if we were playing catch-up with the same (iTunes) model, it would be difficult to appear to users," Hirai said.



The Music Unlimited service allows users to play music from a variety of Internet-connected Sony devices such as Bravia TVs, Blu-ray disc players, and the PlayStation 3 gaming console.



"As we continue to expand Qriocity globally, these services 'powered by Qriocity' offer a single ID log-in and wallet solution, and empower users to easily consume content including music and video across a growing number of integrated devices," said Hirai said in a press release. "Seamless accessibility to content through these fresh user experiences will enrich Sony's network service offerings and continually add value to the unique aspects of Sony's network-enabled products."



Sony announced its plans to take on iTunes in November, when the endeavor was then tentatively named the "Sony Online Service." The company allegedly plans, at some point in the future, to allow independent software developers to create applications for the service, much like Apple's iPhone App Store.



Sony competes with Apple in a number of markets, including MP3 players, portable games, computers and living room media players, but the company has struggled in many of its businesses of late. Last year, Sony lost $2.6 billion.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    Hmm. "iTunes". "Qriocity".



    Which one would YOU rather pronounce?



    I think they're trolling. No one could be this stupid. Not available on portable devices, streaming, and designed for integrated devices? Really. I'd love my fridge to stream music.
  • Reply 2 of 45
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,770member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Hmm. "iTunes". "Qriocity".



    Which one would YOU rather pronounce?



    I think they're trolling. No one could be this stupid. Not available on portable devices, streaming, and designed for integrated devices? Really. I'd love my fridge to stream music.



    I think it's pronounced like "curiosity".



    That said, I wonder if it'll have the same old Sony-can't-write-shit-for-software disease that has caused me to toss any free software that comes with all the Sony consumer hardware products that I've ever purchased.
  • Reply 3 of 45
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    So they're taking on iTunes by pushing out a service nothing like iTunes?



    Did they ever blatantly say they were taking on iTunes, or has this just been assumed by AI?
  • Reply 4 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Hmm. "iTunes". "Qriocity".

    Which one would YOU rather pronounce?



    Queer City ?
  • Reply 5 of 45
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,586member
    My Sony Blu-ray player does have some nice streaming features. If I wanted to stream my computer to my stereo system, I would have had to buy another Apple Express box for $99. For $138, I bought a Blu-ray player (S570) that had Wi-Fi built in. That enables me, among other things, to stream Pandora through my stereo system.



    Although I haven't used it yet, it also has support for Amazon and NetFlix video streaming. I think that makes sense, although I think the CE industry needs to make up its mind whether this functionality belongs in the players, in the A/V receivers or in the HDTVs. They're currently putting this functionality in all three places redundantly, which is not only a waste, but confusing.



    But having to pay for a sub to stream music that can't go to an MP3 player or smartphone? That's a disaster.
  • Reply 6 of 45
    With data caps being implemented everywhere, a streaming music service is nothing people would be interested in unless it's free.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    My Sony Blu-ray player does have some nice streaming features. If I wanted to stream my computer to my stereo system, I would have had to buy another Apple Express box for $99. For $138, I bought a Blu-ray player (S570) that had Wi-Fi built in. That enables me, among other things, to stream Pandora through my stereo system.



    Although I haven't used it yet, it also has support for Amazon and NetFlix video streaming. I think that makes sense, although I think the CE industry needs to make up its mind whether this functionality belongs in the players, in the A/V receivers or in the HDTVs. They're currently putting this functionality in all three places redundantly, which is not only a waste, but confusing.



    But having to pay for a sub to stream music that can't go to an MP3 player or smartphone? That's a disaster.



    Or you could have bought an ATV for $99
  • Reply 8 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Hmm. "iTunes". "Qriocity".



    Which one would YOU rather pronounce?



    I think they're trolling. No one could be this stupid. Not available on portable devices, streaming, and designed for integrated devices? Really. I'd love my fridge to stream music.





    Yes indeed. Not on portable devices? Huh?



    I used to like Sony, until I had a problem with a product many, many years ago. Never again.



    I would add to your list that because Sony is a huge owner of content, and because the scheme is one to sell access to content, it seems likely that Sony-owned content will be presented as, errr, "special" somehow in many cases. And the rest of the stuff you really want to access is, well, somehow not so much or as easily or as cheaply available.



    Renting access to content from a content owner seems like something I'd want to avoid, especially if it involves buying hardware from the content owner. And especially if it is Sony.
  • Reply 9 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    So they're taking on iTunes by pushing out a service nothing like iTunes?



    Did they ever blatantly say they were taking on iTunes, or has this just been assumed by AI?



    [on edit - even in the official Sony press release iTunes is mentioned... but not in the sense of the AI article:



    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.]
  • Reply 10 of 45
    You mean they are going to try to sell their version of Pandora (which is free), but theirs can only play through a limited number of non-portable boxes?



    Genius! Where do I sign up?
  • Reply 11 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    So they're taking on iTunes by pushing out a service nothing like iTunes?



    Did they ever blatantly say they were taking on iTunes, or has this just been assumed by AI?



    I assume they just assumed.
  • Reply 12 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    So they're taking on iTunes by pushing out a service nothing like iTunes?



    Did they ever blatantly say they were taking on iTunes, or has this just been assumed by AI?



    Its a product not made by Apple, which means that regardless if the product is taking on an Apple product or not, it will be assumed that it is.



    Remember, if it is not made by Apple, its crap.
  • Reply 13 of 45
    You must have an ATRAC-compatible Sony device with a built-in Memory Stick Duo port (not Memory Stick or Memory Stick Select) to stream music.



    However, it will work with Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo if your device is ATRAC3plus-compatible. ATRAC3 (LP2 and LP4 Modes) devices can use the Memory Stick XC (also known as Memory Stick Format Series for Extended High Capacity) to store streams, but can only do so if the songs are longer than 4m52s.
  • Reply 14 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post




    Did they ever blatantly say they were taking on iTunes, or has this just been assumed by AI?







    The AI story is based on an AP story, which is here: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT



    Very, very interesting to read the AP source intact, and to compare it to the AI story.



    AP:



    TOKYO (AP) -- Sony Corp. on Wednesday launched a music streaming service in a bid to boost sales of its consumer electronics and break Apple's dominance of the online music business.



    The Japanese company's "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" is a digital music service based on cloud technology that does not involve downloading tracks like Apple's iTunes, which started in 2001.



    AI:



    Sony on Wednesday launched a new streaming music subscription service which it hopes will take on Apple's iTunes by offering a different approach to digital music sales.



    "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" is a cloud-based digital music service. Unlike iTunes, users do not purchase and download tracks. Instead, they stream them.







    AP:



    The service debuted in the U.K. and Ireland on Wednesday and will be rolled out in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and New Zealand and the U.S. next year.



    AI:



    The service debuted Wednesday in Ireland and the U.K., and will launch in the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and New Zealand in 2011.









    AP:



    "We realized that if we were playing catch up with the same (iTunes) model, it would be difficult to appeal to users," Hirai told reporters in Tokyo.



    Initially, the service is intended to mainly enhance the appeal of its products against competitors like Microsoft Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co.



    "But over time, it needs to stand on its own," Hirai said.



    ...



    Instead, 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, Sony said.



    AI:



    Kazuo Hirai, executive vice president of Sony, said the initial focus of the product is to enhance the appeal of Sony products versus competitors like Apple and Microsoft, according to The Associated Press. But he said "over time" the service would need to "stand on its own."



    "We realized if we were playing catch-up with the same (iTunes) model, it would be difficult to appear to users," Hirai said.



    The Music Unlimited service allows users to play music from a variety of Internet-connected Sony devices such as Bravia TVs, Blu-ray disc players, and the PlayStation 3 gaming console.











    So yes Hirai did mention iTunes as a possible future competitor. BUT



    "Initially, the service is intended to mainly enhance the appeal of its products against competitors like Microsoft Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co." said the AP, and



    "Kazuo Hirai, executive vice president of Sony, said the initial focus of the product is to enhance the appeal of Sony products versus competitors like Apple and Microsoft, according to The Associated Press." Said AI.





    While most of the AI article is just rehashed plagiarize AP, seemingly Katie Marsal decided to manufacture this little "fact" about Sony initially competing with iTunes. She just plain made it up, and then dishonestly attributed it to the AP.



    I see this as a whole new low for AI "journalism".
  • Reply 15 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "We realized if we were playing catch-up with the same (iTunes) model, it would be difficult to appear to users," Hirai said.



    I lived in Japan for 8 years and I know how hard it is for many Japanese to pronounce the difference between an L and an R. I wonder if Mr Hirai tried to say 'appeal' but it came out to sound like 'appear' and so they quoted it as such. Or is this just a typo...
  • Reply 16 of 45
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "We realized if we were playing catch-up with the same (iTunes) model, it would be difficult to appear to users," Hirai said.



    invisibility cloak?



    my compliments on your plagiaristic efforts, by the way.
  • Reply 17 of 45
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pooch View Post


    invisibility cloak?



    sorry, james beat me to it!
  • Reply 18 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleAddict2011 View Post


    The AI story is based on an AP story, which is here: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT



    Very, very interesting to read the AP source intact, and to compare it to the AI story.



    ...





    So yes Hirai did mention iTunes as a possible future competitor. BUT



    "Initially, the service is intended to mainly enhance the appeal of its products against competitors like Microsoft Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co." said the AP, and



    "Kazuo Hirai, executive vice president of Sony, said the initial focus of the product is to enhance the appeal of Sony products versus competitors like Apple and Microsoft, according to The Associated Press." Said AI.





    While most of the AI article is just rehashed plagiarize AP, seemingly Katie Marsal decided to manufacture this little "fact" about Sony initially competing with iTunes. She just plain made it up, and then dishonestly attributed it to the AP.



    I see this as a whole new low for AI "journalism".



    LOL! You just showed why this site shouldn't be linked to by Google News anymore. I wonder if your comment will get deleted by one of the admins.
  • Reply 19 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    LOL! You just showed why this site shouldn't be linked to by Google News anymore. I wonder if your comment will get deleted by one of the admins.







    I expect to be banned for it.



    5 minutes later, I'll be back. The process is trivially simple.
  • Reply 20 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleAddict2011 View Post


    ...the U.K. and Ireland...



    ...Ireland and the U.K...



    I see this as a whole new low for AI "journalism".



    So they favor Ireland over the U.K.; who doesn't? I certainly do.



    If you don't like the journalism, don't read it. It's not why I come to the forums, and it doesn't have any impact on discussion beyond people complaining about AI's "fanboyism", "plagiarism", and "twisting" of stories. If you watch [insert news channel leaning toward political party here], you probably don't watch [insert news channel leaning toward opposing political party here], do you? Same thing; JUST IGNORE IT.
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