Need another music streaming service for your Android-powered smartphone? If so, look no further than Sony to deliver on such needs with a new app that gives users access to its Music Unlimited digital music cloud service, where they can listen to Internet radio stations and stream their favourite songs onto any Android-powered smartphones. And from the looks of it, Sony's offering might just have what it takes to one-up the competition in the race to provide the best music streaming service consumers are looking for.
With cloud computing being the biggest buzzword in data processing and accessibility today, it really should not be surprising to see many companies start jumping onto the bandwagon in a bid to offer consumers their own take of what a cloud server should be, especially when said consumers are slowly but surely starting to see the potential benefits of having their data readily accessible, regardless of their location. And leave to to Sony to offer Android users with yet another cloud based music service, Music Unlimited, that boasts a few unique features not found on other competing online music streaming services currently offered by the competition.
Officially launched by Sony yesterday, the Music Unlimited app allows users of Android-powered smartphones to gain access to its digital cloud-based music streaming service, which was previously available for variety of Sony-branded devices such as its PlayStation 3 video game console, Internet-capable television sets and Blu-ray players. At the time this article is published the app is already available on the Android Market and can be downloaded at no cost, although users will need to foot monthly subscription fees if they intend to make use of the Music Unlimited streaming service.
According to Sony, the Music Unlimited app comes with a feature that allows it to scan a user's music library and allow them to stream the same songs to any compatible Android-powered smartphone from its huge database of songs without having to upload the same tracks online to its server first. Apparently, Sony can offer such a feature simply because it owns the rights to millions of popular songs due to its status as one of the biggest record companies in the world. To many, this feature will undoubtedly come across as a huge time saver, considering how most average users have music collections which stretches into gigabytes territory, and having to upload such large collections manually to a cloud is an act that can take hours, or even days.
In addition, Sony also claims that users who sign up for its Premium plan will score unlimited access to the entire catalog of songs available in its database; this means that users can stream and listen to songs which they do not own directly onto the Android-powered handsets. In contrast, Apple's iCloud streaming service limits users to streaming songs thatr they already own, and that puts it at a huge disadvantage when one compares the huge selection of tracks that Sony immediately has at its disposal.
Unfortunately, it seems that not all countries will be fortunate enough to be blessed with access to Sony's Music Unlimited streaming service for Android-powered smartphones. Apparently, the service is only available in Europe, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and Sony has made no announcements as to whether it intends to introduce the service to other countries, if at all. But more importantly, with Sony still reeling from the aftermath of having both its PlayStation Network and Music Unlimited services forced offline as a result of hackers managing to compromise the company's servers, whether millions of Android users are willing to take a leap of faith and entrust the company with data pertaining to their music libraries once again remain to be seen.