New Technology Wars, This Time Between Apple and Blackberry… For Music Services?

by Dale Wright

Do you use your smartphone as a music player? If you own an iPhone or a BlackBerry, you’ll be interested in two new services that launched recently that will make sharing music easier than ever. However, much like the situation with the Amazon Kindle Fire, UK consumers are again being left behind – this time by Apple.

Apple launched their long-awaited iTunes Match service, a component of their iCloud offering, in the US on Tuesday. iTunes Match is a new service which works with iCloud to mirror your entire music collection into the cloud. Once it’s there, the content can be streamed on all of your iOS devices. This is potentially a very useful service for anyone who owns one of the lower capacity iPod touch, iPhone or iPad models, as files no need to be stored on the device itself: however, some kind of internet connection will be needed for content streaming, and a good amount of bandwidth will be required for it to work properly.

Crucially, iTunes Match will create your collection whether you purchased the music from iTunes or not. Regardless of any bandwidth issues, this is a very desirable feature for music fans, especially those with large mp3 collections.

Priced at only $24.99 annually, experts are expecting iTunes Match to be extremely popular with music fans in the US. However, as long as the UK launch date remains uncertain, British owners of iOS devices will have to get by without it.

From yesterday, owners of BlackBerry smartphones can trial RIM’s new music service, BBM Music, free for 60 days. For a £4.99 per month subscription, you’ll be able to share up to 50 tracks from a limited number of record labels through BlackBerry Messenger. Once you’ve hit the limit, you’ll be able to ditch and switch up to 25 tracks per month and see how popular your favourites are with your BlackBerry contacts. The service does rely on you having enough BBM contacts to share with, and you can’t play whatever you feel like listening to – unlike a service such as Spotify.

What will you use: iTunes Match or BBM Music?