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RIM: BlackBerry music service ripe for launch

Handset maker says music service, which relies heavily on social networking, will go live sometime today or tomorrow.

Research In Motion, which has seen devices made by rivals become popular digital music and movie players, says it will roll out its BlackBerry Messenger music service today or early tomorrow.

BBM Music lets you turn your friend list into a playlist, RIM says. Research In Motion

The company's plan to offer a music service, first reported by CNET in August, includes launching in the United States, Canada and Australia, the company said this morning in a blog post.

RIM allows a user to download 50 songs from the company's catalog and then share those tunes with friends and family via BlackBerry Messenger. The company emphasized that users can access more than just 50 songs.

A $4.99 per month premium service offers users a chance to boost their selection by adding contacts who are also BBM premium users.

"Let's say you have 10 BBM friends with BBM Music subscriptions," RIM said in its blog post, "and they each have 50 songs in their music profiles. From those friends alone, plus the 50 songs you downloaded to start your profile, you could have 550 songs."

Helping listeners discover music through social networking has long been considered fertile ground for boosting song sales.

Back in 2006, Microsoft allowed owners of the company's Zune music players to beam songs between devices. Google, meanwhile, is trying to get the rights to enable users of Google+ to share songs with each other.