Beats Music service debuts for iPhone, Android

The new streaming music app is slick, but you'll have to pay $9.99 a month to listen.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Can't get your fill of streaming music with the likes of Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio? There's a new music service in town.

Debuting for the iPhone and Android devices on Tuesday, the Beats Music app works more or less like its rivals. It acts as an online radio station to serve you tunes from your favorite artists and genres.

The service claims access to more than 20 million songs, which you can listen to online or download to your device to listen offline.

But unlike Pandora and similar services, Beats Music doesn't offer a free, ad-supported version. Your only option is to shell out $9.99 a month for the privilege of subscribing. Fortunately, you can try the service through a free 7-day trial.

After you download the app and sign up for your account, Beats Music poses a couple of simple questions. You're asked to choose your favorite genres and three of your favorite artists. The service then cooks up a lineup of songs based on your preferences.

You can tag the songs you like or don't like so the service can learn what to play. You also can add a song to your library and playlists. If an individual song is featured on an album, you can access that album to hear the rest of the tracks.

The iOS version of the app is optimized for the iPhone, though it's also compatible with the iPad. A version for Windows Phone is due out this Friday, according to a tweet from Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers picked up by Windows Phone Central. A Windows Store edition also is on the way, as posted on the Beats Music Web site.

Beats Music did a nice job with the app and the service. But will music lovers pony up $10 a month for yet another streaming service when free options abound?

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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