Xbox Music service has its limitsMicrosoft's streaming music service arrives on Xbox 360, Sprint's Softbank deal could boost the network, and Nintendo drops the price of the Wii with a new bundle.
-Microsoft is singing a new streaming tune. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. Microsoft is launching its new streaming music service called Xbox Music and it's designed to compete with services like iTunes and Spotify. Xbox Music has a library of 30 million songs for users to stream any song they want, create playlist or stations, even download songs, but there are several drawbacks. Starting Tuesday, Xbox Music will be available on the Xbox 360, but it requires a $10 monthly subscription. Yeah, and that's on top of already paying for an Xbox Live Account. You can try free, though, for 30 days. Windows Phone 8 users will also need a subscription to use it on a phone; however, you can listen to a free version with commercials on Windows 8 PCs and tablets. When Windows 8 arrives on October 26th, Xbox Music will be the default music player, but after six months, the free ads-supported version will be limited to 10 hours of playback per month. By comparison, Spotify doesn't limit how long you can listen to the ads-supported version and Spotify is on more devices. So, why would you want Xbox Music? The idea is that all your playlist will be in sync across Windows devices, and someday, apps for Apple and Android will be released. Microsoft's goal right now is to hook you into the Windows 8 Ecosystem. Windows 7 users are also out of luck. Sprint will be getting a big financial boost next year. A Japanese mobile carrier called Softbank just bought majority control of Sprint for $20.1 billion. Softbank will also pump another $8 billion investment to improve Sprint's network. Nothing will change right now. The deal isn't expected to close until the middle of next year. The cash, though, can help Sprint expand its 4G LTE coverage area. Sprint only offers these faster speeds to 24 areas. To compare, Verizon has LTE in 400 areas. We have another iPad Mini clue. MobileGeek published a screen shot of an electronics retailer inventory list which lists the iPad Mini coming in both Wi-Fi and cellular versions for several different memory options. If you believe this list, it shows the iPad Mini coming with 8 gigs as well as 16-, 32-, and 64-gigabyte options. If you're looking for a cheaper game system for the holidays, Nintendo has dropped the price of the week to $130. This isn't the new Wii U. This is the current system, but for that price, you'll get it in black with Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort as well as a black Wii Remote plus a Nunchuk controller. So, basically, starting on October 28th, an entire Nintendo Wii game system costs less than the new Apple iPod Nano. Go figure. That's your tech news update for today. You can find links to all of today's stories on the blogs.cnet.com/update. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridge Carey.