BBM Music Preview: Music Made Social

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BBM Music

It is my extreme pleasure to give you an inside look at the BBM™ Music app Research In Motion (RIM) announced today. Hot on the heels of our BBM 6 launch in the BlackBerry App World™ storefront, BBM Music is expected to be available later this year for a monthly subscription fee of $4.99 USD, plus tax (to sign up to get more details later on availability and free trial in your country, please visit www.blackberry.com/bbmmusic).

BBM Music is a BBM-connected social music service that allows BlackBerry® smartphone users to share and discover music through your BBM Music friends (note: users must also have BBM 6 installed). Once you have created a BBM Music sharing friendship with a BBM contact, you can make use of all that BBM Music has to offer (like other BBM-connected apps, BBM Music was built using the same BBM SDKs extended to the BlackBerry developer community. To see a list of other great BBM-connected apps, check out our BBM 6: Apps Made Social post).

BBM Music has been designed to allow you to:

  • Build your music profile from a Catalog of millions of tracks (with more to be added over the coming weeks)
  • Invite friends to BBM Music from your BBM contacts and gain access to their music and share your music (once they subscribe or join the free trial)
  • Create playlists from your BBM Music songs plus your friends’ songs
  • Share playlists or single songs with BBM Music friends
  • Follow your friends’ BBM Music activity via timelines and comments, or start up a BBM chat about your favorite bands
  • Cache music for easy offline listening
  • Seamless integration with other BlackBerry music services

Let’s dig deeper into how BBM Music works and why it might become the must-have app for audiophiles and the über-social.

More friends = more music

What if every new friend came with a new favorite song? With BBM Music, they could, as long as they have agreed to share their music with you! Each BBM Music user can create a profile of up to 50 songs from the millions of tracks available in the BBM Music Catalog. In addition to those 50 songs in your profile, the more BBM Music friends you have, the more songs you can add and enjoy! In other words, your BBM Music friend’s music library = your music library.

BBM Music paid subscribers will get to discover, select and share full audio tracks. This includes not only the tracks in your 50-song profile, but also all the music in your BBM Music friends’ profiles, too (if they are paid subscribers or using the trial version).

BBM Music

A great way to stay up on what your BBM Music friends are listening to is by viewing the activity timeline on the Home tab. From there, you can see what playlists your BBM Music friends are creating, what songs they’ve added to their profiles, and the comments friends are posting on your track selections (BTW: My coworkers at RIM seem to really enjoy my addiction to indie rock =D).

BBM Music

From the Me tab, you can see your own BBM Music profile, including your 50-tracks and playlists, as well as the comments you’ve posted. You can also quickly see how many listens your music selections have received from your BBM Music friends, or shuffle your track list.

BBM Music

The Friends tab is the place to go to see your BBM Music friends and discover what they’re listening to. You can view specific friend’s playlists and tracks, add them to your own playlists, or post a comment. This is also the place to accept new BBM Music friend requests or send out some requests of your own. Of course, because BBM Music is a BBM-connected app, you can also start a BBM chat with any of your BBM Music friends from this tab.

BBM Music

Even more ways to discover music

If you’re looking to branch out and try something new, the Catalog tab is the place to go to find new tracks to add to your 50-song profile. Besides a general artist, album, song search, the Catalog tab also features preset song suggestions based upon genre, what’s new, top and most recommended tracks, and even picks from the BBM Music team. BBM Music will also tell you if a song of your choosing is in one of your friend’s music profiles, so you can grab it from them and not subtract from your 50-song total.

BBM Music also provides easy access to and from other BlackBerry music services for additional discovery and purchase. For example, if there are songs you love so much you’d like to purchase them, you can select the buy option and purchase directly from the Amazon MP3 Music Store.

BBM Music

No coverage = no problem

BBM Music tracks are cached to your SD card for offline listening, and you can do this for playlists, too, via the Options menu. This is a great feature for commuters, as you can access your music library even when you’re travelling to out of coverage areas. BBM Music also allows for music streaming over Wi-Fi, which together with the cache storage helps save on data usage.

BBM Music strikes a personal chord with me for two reasons. First, mobile music typically tends to be a solitary experience. BBM Music takes that solitary experience and makes it social with the people that matter to me most. Secondly, as life gets busier, I have less time to discover music (sad, but true). BBM Music allows my BBM friends to introduce me to the tunes I’m missing, and vice versa. I think BBM Music could become the “mixtape” for a new generation of mobile music users.

Stay tuned for more blog posts on BBM Music. Also, be sure to head over to the BBM Music page and sign up to be notified once the service launches.

For now, post a comment and let us know what you think (and maybe post a list of your all-time favorite songs or some great new indie bands I should be adding to my profile). I look forward to reading and hearing what you think!

About Douglas Soltys

Word Czar. Web 7.0 (in beta). Blogs and tweets and wonders.

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