Before WWDC, all the buzz about iCloud was that it would bring a music subscription model to iTunes. As it turned out, iCloud is nothing of the sort, with syncing being the main feature of iCloud.

While hope springs eternal that Jobs and co. will see the good sense and offer a Spotify clone sooner rather than later, it seems one of the Cupertino outfit’s smartphone competitors could be about offer a somewhat new take on the music sharing situation, and it’s an interesting one…

Unlike streaming services like Spotify, Research in Motion’s approach involves crowd sourcing your music collection, with friends’ music becoming available to you via a new BlackBerry app.

CrackBerry has the scoop.

  • Users will have to download the new standalone BlackBerry music app from App World
  • Once installed, there *should* be a free trial (may vary by country/carrier – but expect a month free)
  • Once the free trial expires, the service will cost $5/mo.
  • With the app installed, you can choose up to 50 songs of your choice. Apparently the catalog selection is pretty good!
  • From there, you invite your contacts via BBM, etc. to also download the app if they don’t have it and join your music sharing network (invited contacts must pay the $5/mo. also to take part and remain part of the service).
  • From there, you can listen to not only the 50 songs you’ve selected), but any of the 50 songs from your music sharing network. So if you have 20 contacts, you’ll have access to 1,000 other songs in addition to your 50. We’re not sure yet if there’s a limit to how many people you can share with, but essentially the more people in your music sharing group the more music you’ll have access to.

It’s an interesting concept, but it’s most certainly not one we expect Apple to emulate any time soon. The new service would, though, offer a new unique selling point to a flailing BlackBerry business that is in desperate need of revival. Whether this is the way to do it remains to be seen. But we doubt Apple will be too worried, either way.

  • Mike

    Truth is, most people don’t even buy music anymore they just download it so it doesn’t really matter if Apple offer a music subscription service.

    • Jason Masters

      True true

  • Frandsen

    >>most people don’t even buy music anymore they just download it

    Then how is it, that iTMS keeps upping the salesfigues? If noone buys music through there, they might as well close, and Sebastien can delete all articles telling us how Apple changed the music industry 🙂

    Maybe PirateBay; RapidShare or MegaUpload are the ones changing it, according to you, or…?

  • Mike

    Yada yada yada, Apple changed everything according to people on Apple related blogs, that’s just fanboism .. As for the buying music, there is no doubt certain age brackets that do buy music but a lot of people don’t, that’s not an uniformed decision, every genre has been hit massively by piracy so if the majority of people bought music instead of downloading it illegally that would not be the case.

    Either way, i’m not going to have a big debate about it 🙂

  • Frandsen

    Neither am I, but the record industry still tends to use sales figures from the 90s where people were still buying CDs to get rid of their vinyls… those figues are blown sky-high and way out of proportion.

    As I hear it, the ARTISTS are not complaining as much as the DISTRIBUTORS.
    Maybe MySpace will be the place where artists will – in near future – will sell their music them selves, so we can get rid of those distributors and record labels that – in the end – is all about ripping off the artists AND the CD buying public.

    I see the piracy issue as more of a protest against the companies than the artists themselves.

    Allbeit, not all my music is BOUGHT – i must admit – some are indeed downloaded BUT: The music that is downloaded, is music I would never have BOUGHT in the first place, so no one has lost money, one way or the other.

    • “The music that is downloaded, is music I would never have BOUGHT in the first place, so no one has lost money, one way or the other.”

      Seriously? Wow. It scares me that people on the internet still surprise me with their stupidity.
      How can you not see how money is lost in that scenario?

      And I know, I know. You’re some faceless person in the internet so you’ll probably say how you have an MBA you really don’t have but this is Logic 101 we’re talking about here.

      If, theoretically, sites to download music illegally didn’t exist or you couldn’t burn copies of CDs, then you either have to conform with listening to songs on the radio or buying buying the album at a store. That’s where the money is lost. You WOULD HAVE to buy the album.

      Only because sometimes people bring up this stupid point: if you were to borrow the CD from someone else, then that someone did pay for the album to the record companies at least got paid for a copy.

      “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” -Charles Bukowski

      • Frandsen

        >>And I know, I know. You’re some faceless person in the internet so you’ll probably say how you have an MBA you really don’t have but this is Logic 101 we’re talking about here.

        Nope, I’m *just* a GFX-designer 😉

        >>If, theoretically, sites to download music illegally didn’t exist or you couldn’t burn copies of CDs, then you either have to conform with listening to songs on the radio or buying buying the album at a store. That’s where the money is lost. You WOULD HAVE to buy the album.

        The music I listen to – normally – I still buy on CDs as always. The music I download, is chart-stuff that I would never have bought in the first place but, as you say, would just have listened to on the radio, when it was on… so still: I would never have bought those tracks anyways… I never burn those out on CD… why should I? even THAT medium is a dying medium.

  • Jason Masters

    I agree mate well said!!!

  • Daniel

    Billy, your argument doesn’t make sense at all. He’s saying he wouldn’t have had any interest in the music if the only way he could get it was to pay. So, if his only option was to buy a CD, he wouldn’t have bought it. Music companies make $0.00. However, he had the option to download it for free so he did. Music companies make $0.00. So, in this very specific situation, he is absolutely right, nobody lost money.

    We all know that other situations exist in the world of music piracy that do cost people money. However, you are entirely wrong if you think this applies to all situations.

    • TT

      This is what I got out of it as well.

      Also, like it or not, Apple has definitely changed the whole music scene with the iPod and iTunes. Without those two instruments, we wouldn’t have our beloved iPhones.

      But alas, the music landscape is changing once again with subscription based services. I have spent $10 a month for the past 5 months or so on rhapsody and I can honestly say that I could see myself spending $120 a year to have an unlimited supply of music at my finger tips. If Apple started a music sub service for unlimited music at $10 a month I would definitely sign up.

      • Frandsen

        Oh yes… 🙂 I would subscribe to a service like that as well 🙂 for now we only have ONE real option like that here in Denmark, and that is something called TDC Play, but that doesn’t work on Mac… works on the iPhone though, but not on the computer.

        You get it as part of your subscription to your smartphone for nothing – or, you can add it to your subscription if itøs not included for dkr. 49 a month – roughly $11 a month…

  • Doesn’t matter Apple’s iPhone device is way more superior to Blackberry phones.

    • “Superior” is a matter of opinion. All depends what your needs are in a smartphone. iPhone for play, BlackBerry for work. Hopefully, BlackBerry will tap into the smartphone media scene without resorting to “hype” like Apple.