Sony to launch online music service

Sony will be launching its own online music service next year. The service will launch in Europe and the US in the spring and may have to compete with a Windows version of Apple's iTunes Music Store by then.

The only details available on Sony's upcoming download service is that it will probably also work with products from Sony's consumer electronics division. I'd like to think that Sony's service could offer real CD-quality downloads with only limited DRM, but given Sony's stake in the music business, that's probably wishful thinking.

As the music download service market becomes more crowded, at least one service may try to differentiate itself with higher quality downloads and fewer DRM restrictions. That company probably won't be Sony, but its new music service could help drive the competition to offer features desired by enthusiasts.

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