RIM officially launches BBM music service

bbm musicRIM has officially launched its BlackBerry music-sharing service, after beta-testing the application since August. Called BBM Music, it will be available for download within the next day.

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. 

Photography

Grit and gear: How Chris Hershman went from retail clerk to music video director

How did Chris Hershman go from working a music retail job to working with bands like NEEDTOBREATHE and Switchfoot? The music video director and filmmaker talks to us about video, tech, and Nikon's new mirrorless.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Music

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Music

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
Mobile

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Smart Home

This device detects when your pet is at the door and opens it for them

Tired of waiting for your dog to come inside, or running home in the middle of the day to let your four-legged friend out? Wayzn automatically opens sliding doors for your dog and gives you remote control.
Mobile

Apple pushing update to iPhone in China in response to legal troubles

Apple has been facing legal issues in China due to alleged infringements of patents from Qualcomm Inc. On Friday, Apple announced it will push a software update in China in hopes of resolving any potential legal issues around the iPhone.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!