Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Don't Like to Listen to Music on the Go? Sony Has a Music Subscription Service for You

Hey! What if there were a subscription service that let you listen to any music you wanted, whenever you wanted?

Oh. That’s right. There are plenty of those already (Rhapsody, Napster, MOG, Rdio, Thumbplay, Spotify, etc.), though none of them have ever really broken through in a mainstream way.

Still, here’s one more: “Music Unlimited” from Sony, which launches in the U.K. and Ireland today, and is supposed to go worldwide next year.

In short, it appears to be like every other subscription service on the market, only much more limited.

That’s because while Sony gives customers access to some six million songs, via cloud-based streaming, it doesn’t allow them to take their music with them, on their phones.

That’s supposed to change eventually, but even when it does, Sony isn’t promising you’ll be able to listen to your tunes on an iPhone. A press release simply says the service “will also become available on a wide range of Sony’s portable devices, as well as on [Google's] Android-based mobile devices.”

And to be clear, it’s not as if Sony is giving this stuff away: It wants the same 10 pounds a month for its ”Premium” plan that Spotify charges its U.K. customers. And again, to beat this into the ground: Spotify lets you listen to whatever you want on your phone–that’s pretty much the whole point of these things.

If you’re still reading, you may want to click through to this AP story, in which Sony tries to argue that this is the kind of thing that will help it compete with Apple again. Personally, I think you’re better off looking at pictures of vintage Walkmans.


Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus