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Nokia unveils Music+ premium service for Lumia smartphones

Nokia's music-streaming service on its Lumia handsets is getting a bit of a boost, putting it directly in the sights of competing services like Pandora One and Spotify.

According to a blog post from Nokia's Ian Delaney, the company is officially unveiling a new "Nokia Music+" service that basically serves as an add-on to the smartphones' existing radio music capabilities.

For those unaware, Nokia's Mix Radio service delivers a ton of playlists – put together by an actual team at Nokia – that Lumia smartphone owners can browse through and jam at their convenience. Users can skip songs and, better yet, download a limited number of songs to their devices for offline playback.

The new Nokia Music+ service unlocks unlimited song skips and downloads for those that cough up a €3.99/$3.99 (£3.40/£2.50) monthly subscription fee. Additionally, subscribers will be able to download songs at up to "eight times" the current quality of songs they can grab – and they'll be given the ability to set rules for downloading these kinds of tunes for those that don't want to destroy their normal data connection doing so.

Subscribers will also get lyrics for songs displayed directly on their smartphones, including the option to have the words delivered karaoke-style – perfect for impromptu bits of singing among friends, all huddled around a single smartphone. And they'll gain access to a Nokia Music+ web app, allowing subscribers to rock out to the Nokia Mix Radio service on desktops, laptops, and other connected screens.

"Nokia Music is great for discovering new music, and we've found that there's a core of users that want even more of it. This is how Nokia Music+ came about. By introducing features like infinite skips and unlimited downloads, we're opening the doors for unlimited music discovery at only $3.99 per month," said Nokia vice president of entertainment Jyrki Rosenberg, in the company's blog post.

"This is for people who care enough about music to pay something for more quality and choice, but don't want to pay $9.99 monthly," he added.

While Nokia hasn't offered up a firm launch date for the service, it's expected that Nokia Music+ will debut in the UK at some point over the next couple of weeks.