Here are the nuts and bolts of BBM music: Basically, you setup your profile by choosing 50 songs, and then you add more music to your catalog by finding and adding your friends’ profiles and gaining access to their libraries. So the best way to make use of the service is to make sure your friends do — which isn’t a bad move on RIM’s part, considering how popular the BBM service is to begin with. However, seeing as it’s a corporate world application, we’re not entirely convinced this will help rake in users.
RIM optimistically explains the scheme: “Let’s say you have 10 BBM friends with BBM Music subscriptions, and they each have 50 songs in their music profiles. From those friends alone, plus the 50 songs you downloaded to start your profile, you could have 550 songs in no time, right on your BlackBerry smartphone!”
The obvious hitch is that you only have a certain amount of say over your collection — and you obviously have to hope your BBM friends get on board, as well. It’s a bit of an obstacle to overlook.
BBM Music includes a stream of what you and your friends are listening to, and you can sync the music to your phone, or save to your microSD card, to access if all your BBM friends go offline. Users can get a free premium trial for the next two months, but after that it will cost $4.99 a month. There’s also a free option, which offers shorter song previews.
The competition for streaming music services is fierce, as nearly every mobile and Web entity has thrown their hats into the ring. And while this results in a few lacking services here and there, the greatest impact is that iTunes’ locked grip on music distribution has begun to loosen.