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Sony takes on Apple with iTunes rival

Music streaming service planned

Sony will launch a streaming music service, 'Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity', by the end of the year, the company announced at the Internationale Funkaustellung (IFA) trade show in Berlin.

Sony didn't announce many details about the upcoming service, but users will be able to access millions of songs, according to the company. At first, Music Unlimited will be accessible across Sony's latest models of network-enabled Bravia TVs, Blu-ray players, Blu-ray home theatre systems, the PlayStation and Vaio computers, Sony said. The company then aims to allow users to access the service via its portable devices, but it did not elaborate on specific products.

Another member of the Qriocity family is 'Video On Demand powered by Qriocity', which allows users to watch movies on demand in both high definition and standard definition. The service has been available in the US since April and will be rolled out in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain this autumn.

Qriocity was first announced in November last year, but it was then called Sony Online Services. Besides music and movies, it will also be used to distribute games and e-books, according to Sony.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer also hinted at IFA at an upcoming TV service based on Google's Android-based TV platform, plans for which were announced earlier this year.

Sony Internet TV will revolutionise the television experience and will be the world's first true internet service, according to Stringer. Viewers will simultaneously be able to search and access all of their TV channels as well as Web-based applications from wherever they watch TV, he said.

The service will be launched in the US this fall, and more of the specifics will be announced in the near future, according to Stringer.


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