Sony has launched Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for Android which will allow Android phone owners to listen to a catalogue of seven million tracks while on the go and store their own music in the cloud. While Sony is obviously promoting it’s own Sony Ericsson Xperia range of Android phones, any phone running Android 2.1 (Eclair) or higher will be able to download the free Music Unlimited app from the Android Market. Music Unlimited offers subscriptions models. Basic costs users £3.99-a-month and will give you access to a range of themed ad-free radio stations, or Channels as Sony calls them, covering all genres of music, a service very similar to the one offered by Pandora in the States. If, however, you want to listen to what you want, when you want then the Premium package at £10-a-month is the one for you. Like Spotify’s premium service, Music Unlimited Premium will give you unlimited access to the catalogue of music from all the major record labels whenever you are, over Wi-Fi or 3G.
Premium will allow you to create and edit playlists and access Premium radio stations such as the latest top 100 tracks from around the world. Sony’s Music Unlimited uses its proprietary SensMe software to scan your computer to detect any DRM-free music files and playlists and store them in your own online library. There’s no indication so far as to how much music can be stored like this but there should be enough for most people. There is also no offline listening feature even for Premium users, a feature which Spotify does provide. Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity was rolled out by Sony in December of last year and is already available on Bravia TVs and Blu-ray players as well as the PS3 and PSP.
Adding an Android app is sure to increase the appeal of the service but in a crowded marketplace we’re not sure it has enough to make it stand out from the crowd.