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RIM today announced the beta of its new BBM Music service. RIM is targeting BlackBerry users who want to share music with their friends, the service costs $5 per month and will allow users to “build a music profile” with 50 songs at a time. Users can swap out up to 25 songs each month for different ones, though the real way to expand the library of music you have access to is to share among other BBM Music users.
BBM Music is designed to work with the already existing BlackBerry Messenger system. Once users create their 50-song “music profiles,” they can then begin sharing those songs with other BlackBerry Messenger users and vice versa—if users like a song that their friends shared, they can then add it to their own collections. Users will also be able to combine songs from their own and friends’ profiles in order to create playlists, which are also shareable with friends. If they decide to purchase the song as an actual download, the BBM Music app provides direct links to Amazon’s MP3 store.
Although the songs from BBM Music are treated like a subscription, they can still be cached to an SD card for offline listening. This is not unlike Spotify’s own offline mode for Premium subscribers, though a Spotify Premium account costs twice as much per month (at $9.99) than BBM Music currently costs. Then again, Spotify lets you listen to more music at a time than BBM Music, so there is certainly a feature trade-off.