BlackBerry Music now live, and more mates means more music

BlackBerry Music is live today. The unique twist is that you can also listen to your friends' tracks, so more chums means more choons.

BlackBerry Music is live and amplified today. The unique twist is that you can also listen to your friends' tracks, so more chums means more choons.

The cloud-based music service, powered by Omnifone, has a catalogue of over 45 million tracks. You create your own profile of 50 songs, which you can stream online or save on your phone and listen even when there's no 3G or Wi-Fi signal.

Your friends also build a playlist of 50 songs. The neat social twist is that you can listen to all your friends' playlists, and they can listen to yours, which means the more friends you have, the more music you can listen to.

That's pretty clever -- you're encouraged to expand your circle of friends, but in a meaningful way, looking for people you have something in common with so you can chat about music via BlackBerry Messenger. It's unlike Facebook or Twitter, where friends and followers are just a number, and you can bump them up by following and friending any old Tom, Dick and Harry.

You can refresh your profile by swapping up to 25 tracks per month. You can have up to 140 friends -- so that's up to 7,000 songs -- who can comment on your songs and make suggestions, and you can suggest new songs for contacts who happen to be actual friends but sadly have the musical taste of a tone-deaf Geography teacher*.

Here's a nice lady to explain it all:

Research in Motion, the company behind BlackBerry phones, has been in trouble lately. The phenomenally popular BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service now has 50 million users, and 5 million apps are downloaded every day from the BlackBerry App World. But rival services to BBM are launching left -- iMessage -- right -- ChatOn -- and centre -- Nokia IM -- and the company's reputation took a huge knock with the recent outage .

And BlackBerry Music isn't the only music player in the cloud. Apple has iCloud, with the delayed iTunes Match service expected next year. And Google is carrying a tune too with Google Music Store .

BlackBerry Music is available now if you have a phone that runs BB OS 7, BB OS 6 and some phones running BB OS 5. It costs £5 per month. Is BlackBerry back on song or is RIM singing out of tune? Sing us a song in the comments section below, on our Facebook page, or at Google+.

*What kind of music do Geography teachers like? Country music.

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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