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Nokia brings Music app to Windows 8, RT

The program, similar to the Windows Phone version for Nokia's Lumia devices, is the company's first app for PCs and tablets.

Nokia Music is now available for Windows 8 devices.
Nokia today launched its music app for Windows 8 and RT tablets and PCs, extending the Finnish handset maker's reach in the mobile market.

The free music streaming app, Nokia Music, first appeared on Nokia Lumia smartphones, and Nokia in January enhanced the service to include a premium version, dubbed Nokia Music+, for a monthly subscription fee of $3.99. With both, users are able to create their own mixes or stream from playlists curated by Nokia's team and artists. Mixes also can be saved for offline playback. The premium version gives users unlimited skips and unlimited downloads.

Nokia Music for Windows 8 and RT is available now from the Windows 8 Store in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, and Australia, and will be rolling out to all countries with the subscription-based Nokia Music+ in the coming weeks. There is no additional charge for Nokia Music+ subscribers, who can simply fill in their existing credentials within the app. Users also can start a free seven-day trial of Music+ by registering for a Nokia account within the app.

Mike Bebel, Nokia's head of music, noted in a blog post today that what users have asked for are unlimited skips, more offline storage, access to lyrics, and the ability to use the service on all of their different devices. That's why the app today is now available for computers and tablets.

"It carries the same look and feel that people enjoy with the Windows Phone app, but brings it to larger screens with high quality rich media that encourages people's journey of discovery -- a great example being recommendations for more music right on the player screen," Bebel said.

While Nokia said it created the app in part to show its commitment to building the Windows ecosystem, it does raise questions about whether we'll soon see a Nokia tablet running Windows 8 or RT. After all, the smartphone version only works with Nokia devices. The company has been rumored for some time to be working on a tablet, but nothing has been announced.

A Nokia spokesman told CNET that the company is "watching the consumer response to the overall tablet market, including the first wave of Windows 8 products from Microsoft and others, to gauge how best to prioritize this opportunity."

He added that Nokia's "focus continues to be on breaking through in the smartphone market with Lumia."

Meanwhile, the new app from Nokia come as rivals are believed to be readying their own music streaming services. As CNET reported, Apple is close to striking deals with major music labels to bring to life its streaming music service, and Google is aiming to launch its own service as part of YouTube this summer.