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RIM to bring cloud-based tunes to BlackBerry

Research In Motion is preparing a cloud-based social music sharing service for its Blackberry devices.

Called BBM Music, and connected to the riot-organising-friendly BlackBerry Messenger, the music service is being trialled as a closed beta Canada, the United States and the UK.

RIM is penning deals with music from Warner Music, Universal Music Group, EMI and Sony Music Entertainment to deliver music from on high.

The Canadian gadget maker said it expected the service to launch in 18 countries later this year. The monthly subscription is a likely to cost around $5 in the US and - no doubt - about £5 in the UK.

The service will have a 'social' angle, in that a user will have a limit of 50 songs in their profile, profile, but music saved in friends’ profiles, can be accessed too, assuming they too use the service.

The tracks will be downloaded from and shared through the Cloud, but RIM said tracks would also be cached to the BlackBerry's SD card for offline use.

Users can refresh their profile by swapping out up to 25 songs each month.

In a blog post, RIM's Douglas Soltys said: "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.

"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," he added .