Qriocity: Sony's Last Musical Stand
Sony popularized music on the go. Its Walkman and Discman products toted your wicked '80s hair metal wherever you wanted, and though the former melted cassettes and the latter skipped like bazooka-propelled stones on a lake, Sony was the go-to brand for high-quality portable music.
Then the iPod came along and spoiled everything. Sony tried to resuscitate its Walkman as an MP3 player, but against Apple's juggernaut, the company didn't stand a chance.
Now Sony is launching a subscription music service called Qriocity -- perhaps its final attempt at besting Apple at the game Sony created but Apple now controls. Here are two reasons why Qriocity will become Sony's Battle of Little Bighorn:
Not Enough Content
In order to stream your music collection, Qriocity places a "digital fingerprint" on each of your songs, finds your tunes in its library of 6 million tracks, and then wirelessly pushes it to the supporting device.
Keep in mind that iTunes has more than 14 million songs. That means if you're looking to move beyond iTunes, you run the chance of having more than half of your music library unrecognizable to Sony and therefore inaccessible. Never mind that Qriocity doesn't yet support DRM-protected tracks.
In order to access Qriocity's content, consumers will need a 2010 network-enabled Bravia TV, Blu-ray Disc player, personal computer or a PlayStation 3 games console. What about those devices screams portable to you?
At launch, Qriocity will not be available on Sony's PlayStation Portable or Sony Ericsson cellphones -- or the rumored PlayStation phone -- though support for those devices, which are actually portable, should be coming soon.
Qriocity will initially be available in the U.K. and Ireland, but Sony plans to expand it to more countries in 2011, including the United States. Is this something you would try -- or just ignore? Sound off in the comments.