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Samsung revs up iTunes rival with new Galaxy S III

The Korean handset maker is unveiling its Music Hub service with today's launch of the new Galaxy S III smartphones across Europe and the Middle East.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Samsung has found yet another way to compete with Apple.

The Galaxy S smartphone maker is officially kicking off its new iTunes rival Music Hub service starting today. Available as an app with the new Galaxy S III phone launching in 28 different countries, Music Hub borrows more than a page or two from iTunes but also adds a paid subscription model.

The service will offer Samsung phone and tablet owners access to 19 million songs, with prices comparable to those found on iTunes, according to Reuters. Users can stream music and download it from the Hub to play it locally without having to stay connected to the cloud. They can preview a track for up to 30 seconds before deciding whether or not to purchase it.

But two subscription plans will offer customers access to unlimited streaming and downloading of more than 3 million tunes. For the $9.99-per-month unlimited mobile plan, Samsung users can access the Music Hub from a single device -- phone or tablet. For the $12.99-per-month unlimited premium plan, users can tap into the hub on up to four devices as well as a PC or Mac.

The premium edition also follows in the footsteps of iTunes Match by scanning songs on your mobile devices to match and store them in the cloud.

Music Hub will initially be available only on the new Samsung Galaxy S III but will eventually branch out to other devices, including Samsung Blu-ray players and Smart TVs.

The company is even hoping to design an iOS app to let Apple users access the service from their iPhones, according to the Register. But as CNET U.K. reporter Luke Westaway points out, we'll have to see if Samsung can sneak that one past Apple's approval process.

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