by Ben Sisario
In February, Sony introduced a digital music service called Music Unlimited Powered by Qriocity that allowed users to stream millions of songs to Sonyâ€™s home entertainment machines, like Internet-connected televisions, Blu-ray players and the PlayStation3. But it lacked one major feature: mobile access.
Now Sony has made Qriocity available on Android phones through an app, making it a competitor to subscription services like Rhapsody and to the new cloud music programs from Amazon, Google and Apple. Sonyâ€™s two-tiered pricing plan for Qriocity (pronounced â€œcuriosityâ€) is unchanged. For $4 a month, users can listen to music through programmed channels and have access to a â€œscan and matchâ€ music locker, which, like Appleâ€™s new iCloud, gives users access to songs without the sometimes laborious process of uploading them.
At Qriocityâ€™s $10 premium level, music is available â€œon demand,â€ meaning that any song a listener chooses can be listened to at any time.
One drawback, however, is that unlike many other subscription services, Qriocity can only be used when listener has an Internet connection; it does not store cache, or temporary data, on a device to be listened to offline.