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Sony's Music Unlimited Finally Arriving on iOS in 1Q12

There's a good number of music services locked and loaded with millions of tunes to stream directly to your front door, all eagerly waiting for your hard earned dollar. However, which service to ultimately choose can be a hard decision to make given they all have their individual strengths and weaknesses.

However soon iOS device owners will have one more choice in the mix: Sony's Music Unlimited which up until now was available only on Android devices, PCs and Sony products like the PSP and PS3 consoles. Tim Schaaff, head of Sony Entertainment Network, said at a small CES media gathering on Wednesday that a free app for Apple's iPhone and iPad tablet will be made available sometime in 1Q12.

Schaaff said the iOS version will allow subscribers to cache music for offline playback, following the lead of competing music streaming services like Slacker Radio, Spotify, and Rdio which also offer a similar caching feature. He also indicated that the company plans to take a different approach with this version, targeting users who have yet to jump onto the cloud music service bandwagon.

Sony's Music Unlimited is now part of the Sony Entertainment Network. For $10 a month, subscribers have access to over 10 million songs. Features include no ads, unlimited skips, and dozens of preset channels. Even more, users can easily sync music from their personal collection and play both Sony's stock and/or their library across a large number of devices.

Music Unlimited's second plan, Basic for $3.99/month, allows users to stream music to multiple devices, transfer personal music to the service, and enjoy a variety of internet radio programming. By comparison, the $9/month Premium plan throws everything Sony has at the users, from unlimited playback of music to premium channels to editing playlists.