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MP3 Players

Sony Ericsson PlayNow Arena: Walkmans get 5 million songs

Sony Ericsson just revealed details about its new PlayNow Arena service that'll offer over five million tracks to an over-the-air download library

The digital music space is getting hotter than a bedroom full of cheerleaders wrestling over who has the most impressive Xbox 360 Achievement score. In about a week we've seen sign deals with every major label for free on-demand streaming, Amazon announce it's bringing its DRM-free download store to Europe and 7digital announcing it's taking its DRM-free store to the US. But it's about to get even more interesting.

Sony Ericsson just announced its PlayNow service, which since 2004 has offered ringtones, is getting an upgrade. The new feature, called PlayNow Arena, is to offer over five million tracks for over-the-air download to phones. Three of the four major labels are on-board, the odd one out being Universal, which is launching its own phone-centric download system.

The announcement comes a short time after Nokia unveiled its questionable 'Comes With Music' service. In fact, it seems unusually late considering Sony Ericsson's commitment to music phones under the Walkman brand.

PlayNow Arena will launch first in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland in May, followed by the UK and other European countries later in the year. Sony Ericsson plans to have the service running in over 30 countries by the end of the year, but it hasn't released any details on pricing or even how you'd pay for the tracks.

When asked for a comment, our mobile phone expert Andrew 'carries-a-torch-everywhere' Lim said, "Can you change a fiver so I can get a Twix?" When asked if he misheard our question, he said, "Probably... I'm so hungry I don't know what the hell is going on." -Nate Lanxon