Blackberry users get cloud-based music locker

As device platform providers seek to build out their feature arsenals, Blackberry vendor RIM has come up with an innovative cloud-based music locker. Released on Thursday, BBM Music allows users to build and share music libraries with support from big name labels including Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music and EMI.

The backing of the labels is an important part of the puzzle, which is causing copyright problems for players, such as Amazon and Google, that have elected to launch digital locker services without label support.

A closed beta trial of the BBM Music service started this week in Canada, the United States and the UK, although the service is expected to be commercially available to customers later this year for a monthly subscription of $4.99 in Australia, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the UK and the US.

The service allows users to build a personal music profile with up to 50 tracks from the library, and 25 of these can be swapped out every month. Social networking functionality lets users discover their friends’ personal libraries and build multiple playlists from music in their friends’ profiles as well as all their own.

All the music lives in the cloud and RIM said it is targeting social and viral music discovery by allowing users to build an evolving, community-based music library that is shared amongst their BBM Music friends.

“More than 45 million customers already love the social communication benefits delivered through BBM and we are thrilled to be extending the experience into a uniquely social and interactive music service,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “We have partnered with leading music companies to provide a ‘full track’ music sharing and discovery experience that will provide users with quality music on demand and allow them to connect with friends on a whole new level.”

Cloud-based music service provider Omnifone is providing the back end solution, including content management, music hosting and reporting functions as well as comprehensive compensation reporting for copyright holders.

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