Xbox Music service has its limits

Microsoft's streaming music service arrives on Xbox 360, Sprint's Softbank deal could boost the network, and Nintendo drops the price of the Wii with a new bundle.

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Today's tech news roundup looks into the limitations of Microsoft's new music-streaming service, Xbox Music . It debuts on the Xbox 360 on Tuesday, but aside from a 30-day trial period, it won't come free. The streaming service, which syncs music across devices, costs $10 a month to be used on the Xbox 360 and on Windows Phone 8. There will be a free ad-supported version for Windows 8 PCs and tablets, but playback time is limited to 10 hours a month after the first six months. When Windows 8 arrives October 26, Xbox Music will be the default music player.

Microsoft hasn't said when Xbox Music will be available on Apple or Android devices. Also, there are no plans to make this available for Windows 7 users. This is Microsoft's move to hook users into the Windows 8 ecosystem, while also providing something different than Apple's iTunes for buying and storing music over the cloud.

In other news, Japan-based mobile carrier SoftBank will buy majority control of Sprint for $20.1 billion. SoftBank is also investing in Sprint's network with another $8 billion. The deal isn't expected to close until mid-2013, so nothing has changed yet. But this could help Sprint keep up with Verizon and AT&T's growing 4G LTE networks. Sprint now offers the faster LTE speeds to 24 areas, compared to Verizon with LTE in 400 areas.

Another iPad Mini clue has surfaced. MobileGeek published a retailer's inventory list with the iPad Mini coming in several wireless and memory options, starting with 8GB of memory.

Nintendo dropped the price of the Wii to $130 in a new bundle arriving Oct. 28. Dressed in black, this original Wii system comes with Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, as well as a Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controller. And just think, this entire Nintendo game system costs less than the new iPod Nano.

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