Sony unveils its iTunes competitor

sony-unlimited-musicSony launched Music Unlimited today, a streaming service the company is positioning as a competitor to iTunes. The subscription-based program allows members to stream from a 6 million-song catalog to Sony devices, including PS3, Vaio computers, and web-enabled TV and Blu-ray players — but not mobile devices yet. Music Unlimited debuted in the United Kingdom and Ireland today, and it set to roll out in other countries, including the United States, in the coming months.

On the one hand, yay for the cloud. More cloud-based options are a good thing, and that’s one of the lingering issues with iTunes. On other hand, though, the big innovation — one that no one has been able to tap yet — would be mobile streaming from the cloud.

As far as streaming music through my PS3 goes, I guess that’d be cool? But I can’t see myself paying for it, especially on a monthly subscription basis.

But maybe you would, PopWatchers. Do you think Music Unlimited could topple iTunes? [Variety, WSJ, CNET]

Comments (27 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2
  • Kdog

    Sony, seriously how is this news??? Napster, Rhapsody, and a bunch of others tried their hand at this and failed miserably. Margaret is right…when mobile streaming from the cloud happens, it will be press-worthy.

    • Edd

      Rhapsody is GREAT.. all you can eat Music for $15 a month. I know people who have Hundreds in Itunes Music that can go bye bye someday when the next new things comes along and DRM dies.
      If we are REALLY RENTING MUSIC lets rent it not pretend to buy it.. BTW I-tunes only success proves the harm of closed proprietary systems.. Ipod early success let Apple lock people to itunes.. much worse than anything Microsoft Ever did.. they actively bocked Rhapsody for a long time.. form working.. very anti-competative.. one reason I don’t own an ipod.. Now just use my smartphone for music.

      • Kevin

        How do you figure? I can get music from a variety of sources and just move in into my iTunes. I hardly EVER buy anything from iTunes… my music comes exclusively from Amazon or individual band websites. You just come across as someone with a grudge against Apple. Oh, and I used Rhapsody for years with my old Samsung MP3 player… Rhapsody blows and you know it.

      • picklepancakes

        What Kevin said, plus I burn a CD of all music purchase. If I ever lose my library I have it all backed up. No restrictions.

  • Eric

    The only wait to beat iTunes is to make it so all of your music is stored online rather than on your hard-drive.

    • Liz

      Word. Why is Sony even wasting their time on this?

  • Chaz Winterbottom

    Yay! Now I can listen music on my…TV? Wait, why the crap would I want to do that?

  • Dave

    What? Rhapsody already does this on Android and iPhone. Get your facts straight.

    “On other hand, though, the big innovation — one that no one has been able to tap yet — would be mobile streaming from the cloud.”

  • mark


    • Bryan

      ha! and i thought you were rernrfieg to sheep or the song baa baa black sheep. guess what i’ve been listening to lately? by the way, what is ba-ba-ba-ba anyway? and i don’t think we’ve ever heard of 77, the music group, before. where have we been?

  • BG

    How is this an itunes competitor? It is nothing like itunes.

    • Dogboy

      Because if they didn’t mention iTunes, no one would read it.

  • Carrie

    Can it stream through my iPod? No. Then it’s not an iTunes competitor. I’m also really not interested in renting songs I can’t burn to a CD and keep forever.

    • Morgan

      I completely agree. I want to own my music–so I can burn it. If I want to pay for something just to listen, then that’s what Sirius is for.

  • Nee Nee

    So you pay a monthly subscription to LISTEN to music, as opposed to OWNING it. How is this new? I pay for Sirius Radio in my car; seems like the same thing. I would like to OWN my music, thanks. I haven’t purchased from iTunes in a long time because of all the proprietary crap.

    • Munir

      Hi Christian,I’m the girl you helped on the ferry Saturday. I just wanetd to say thank you again. It was amazing to see my friends after so many years living apart from each other and I really don’t know if I could have gotten there had it not been for you and Chester! Also, I love this song. It’s incredibly soothing. You’re quite wonderful. Cheers!

  • Rick

    Sony has done a terrible job at marketing all their brand name music devices. You constantly see Apple Mp3 players commercial; never have I seen a Sony commercial for there walkman. And now (10 years later) they want to compete against iTunes… good luck. Again it is all about marketing; you got plenty of money, use it wisely to inform consumers of a better alternative to iTune Mp3s. The walkman is your ticket.

  • Mike

    Streaming solutions make sense for most people, but Sony’s late in the game. Recall how they completely dropped the ball on the digital Walkman, which could have been a viable competitor to the iPod. I’m a music junkie with a fair share of music either ripped from vinyl or now out-of-print on CD. Will these be available? No. I also customize my albums with bonus tracks, so I’d need my own cloud storage solution.

  • Kris

    This is as sad as it was when Microsoft and all those other companies tried to compete with the iPod.

  • Michael Okoreeh

    first off thats a lame name! but i already hate iTunes so I’m down

  • There was a time when Sony invented the CD & CD player, and because they invented it, they had control over the MSRP of an album ($20 for 1 album!) When downloading & the iPod came along, Sony couldn’t make money off of those things! Sony still wanted to push CD’s, even though downloading was fastly on the rise. Sony’s definitely missed the boat on downloading.

  • C.

    This is the precursor to Sony Ericsson’s PSP, aka Playstation Phone.

  • Whyzer

    It seems in an era of MP3’s and streaming music that quality of music (ie distorion) has been forgotten. Back in the day THD (total harmonic distortion) was an important specification on audio gear. The reason; to save your hearing when played loud. Distorted music is very damaging to you ears, coupled with the high use of headphones it’s very scary. Like the person above I rip every CD I buy, not at 128KBPS, but at the very least 224 KBPS to get the quality up to around 98% CD quality.
    Streaming music is at best around 92KBPS and if you buy the “high quality” music at ITunes it’s 160KBPS.
    So when I hear CD’s are going away in favor of digital music I shutter. Hopefully we will be able to find music in high quality MP3’s or FLAC files for those audiophiles (or just people who like loud music and still want to save their hearing).

Page: 1 2
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by VIP