Music Unlimited has 6 million tracks at launch, from all four major labels and some indies. There are two payment plans: basic, which costs £3.99 per month, is like an ad-free radio channel, but you can skip tracks and customise the kind of music you want. It's basically Last.fm, but costs you money instead of having ads.
The £9.99 per month premium option is like Spotify -- you can listen to whatever you like and make playlists. There's no mobile option at launch, but Sony says the service will be coming to(not , natch) and Sony's more capable media players. It also promises the number of tracks will grow.
Like Last.fm, the service has like and dislike options so it learns your taste over time and offers you a more personal recommendation. Usefully, it'll sync your preferences across all the platforms you can use it on, so if you like something you hear on your TV, that should be reflected in the music its channels play you on your Android phone. Like Spotify, it can play your existing MP3s.
There's no question Spotify is a better use of a tenner a month -- until Sony adds the Android option. Then having your music synced between your phone and PS3 or Bravia TV could make this tempting. We think the lack of an iPhone option or a free version severely limits the number of people who'll be interested, however. A 30-day free trial just isn't enough to build up any loyalty.
The service is an expansion of Sony's hideously named Qriocity entertainment platform, where you have one ID across all your PS3, PC and Bravia equipment. It already has a movie-streaming service called Video on Demand.
Note: Last.fm is owned by CBS Interactive Music Group, which is ultimately owned by the same company as CNET UK.