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Sony powers new mobile music system

Omnifone and Gracenote partner on new digital music system

Mobile provider of unlimited music services Omnifone is partnering with media-management company Gracenote to provide easy integration of a consumer's personal music collection with an unlimited music subscription service and synchronization of both across personal devices -from mobile phones to desktop PCs, home entertainment systems and in-car stereos.

A demonstration at the 2009 CES show in Las Vegas showed how music fans can synchronize their existing music library with Omnifone's unlimited music service of over five million tracks using embedded Gracenote technology.

Billboard reports that Omnifone's device vendor partners have yet to be confirmed, but adds that its existing mobile music partners include Sony Ericsson, Vodafone, LG, Telenor and Hutchison Telecom.

Sony-owned Gracenote gives an example of the solution's uses:

"For example, users can create a comprehensive U2 playlist at home on their PC using a combination of their own collection and the unlimited music service, and start playing it in their living room.

"Then, get in their car, and have it pick up where they left off. Later, when they are at a club, they can search for music they are looking for, then download it and have it synched to all of their devices, and get recommendations for other music they might like based on genre or user generated recommendations.

"On each device, the most appropriate file format and user interface is presented to ensure the best possible user experience for that environment."

Forrester's December 2008 Jupiter Research forecast says US digital music sales will grow by 17 percent per year on average over the next five years to make up 41 percent of sales by 2013, while Juniper Research predicts the success of unlimited music services on mobile platforms will significantly grow digital music revenues, with subscription-based unlimited digital music services overtaking "first generation" pay-per-track services and worth US$3.3 billion by 2012.

"We understand that consumers want access to all music content, as well as a consistent digital media experience no matter where they are - on the go, at home, or in the car. What we are demonstrating is a next-generation music solution to the industry that addresses this consumer demand," said Jim Hollingsworth, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Gracenote.

"This is an example of the future digital entertainment experience, and exemplifies the direction that commerce, content and technology companies should be headed," he added.

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