And here I had counted Research In Motion out of the race for anything cool and current. Lo and behold they’ve rolled out a music service that, at least on paper, could be very cool.
It’s called BlackBerry Music ($4.99/month), it’s built on the BlackBerry Messaging service (45 million users worldwide) and it’s based around 50 of your favourite songs.
BlackBerry users can download the app and select 50 songs that represent their “music profile.” They can then stream those 50 songs as many times as they like, and also connect with other users to view and stream their 50 songs, and so on. There’s no limit to the number of friends users can have, or the number of streams that can be made between them.
The 50 songs are not set in stone, either. Users can swap out up to 25 songs per month, and the service will have regular recommendations based on featured artists, staff picks, and so on.
“It recreates the experience of making mixtapes for friends,” says Nick Patsiopoulos, a product manager on the service. “It evolves the mixtape. It makes it easier and faster.”
This mixtape thing could bring people back to the BlackBerry, or at the very least, stop BlackBerry’s hemorrhage of Cool. But will it catch on? It will definitely depend on how easy, fast, and cool the actual BlackBerry Music app is and how seamless the whole sharing of songs will be. In any case, it looks like there’s some life in RIM yet and with Steve Jobs out at Apple it could be the right time for BlackBerry to make a big move.