So why Nokia Music? We explain.

A question we had (and we know some of you have had) regards why Nokia Music? Or rather, how does it work, why is it better than Zune and what do you get with it?

We spoke with Nokia on the matter and got some answers and to be honest, they make sense and we went from befuddled to intrigued very quickly.

In short, Nokia Music is Nokia's answer to Zune not being available in many countries/regions. For instance, Nokia Music will be available in 38 territories on launch whereas Zune Music is only available in six. Likewise, the service offers a catalog of 50 million song tracks, meaning its comprehensive and it is finely tuned toward each region, culturally speaking. Hits in China will be offered/featured in China and likewise for England. Pretty smart.

So how is this self-described "progressive download service" made for free? Nokia is paying radio royalties for the songs with specific license deals in place for an undisclosed amount. And it truly is free, the only time you are charged is if you want to buy a track. But what can you do with it, as a service?

You can stream unlimited music, like many services, but more importantly, it is customized towards your tastes based on song choices and also something called "Music DNA". Music DNA is the ability for Nokia to scan your PC's music catalog for music and then recommend further music selections based on your possessions. So, it's like Zune's Smart DJ. What's cool about this is both the ability to do it and the fact that it is completely optional (for those concerned with privacy). What's more, you can do "playlist" channels based on genres you like and download up to four channels for off-line listening. Each channel equals about 3 1/2 hours of music, meaning you can get nearly 14 hours of offline music stored on the device for playback, all for free. Very cool.

What can we say other than this is a pretty astonishing and an enticing feature that Nokia phones will offer. It's free, non-committal and looks to bring "progressive downloading" to many more devices than Zune does, making Nokia Windows Phone that more tempting for emerging markets. The app itself is nice and yes, it all ties into your Zune library, meaning tracks are shared between the services and are not mutually exclusive.

Well, we're pretty happy with all of that. Check our video tour of Nokia Music to see it in action...


Reader comments

So why Nokia Music? We explain.


When you say tracks are shared between services does that mean I can use the Zune software on my phone to play Nokia downloaded tracks? Can I download songs from the Zune software on my PC from the Nokia Music store?

"I can use the Zune software on my phone to play Nokia downloaded tracks?" Not sure what the actual difference here would be, but I think for streaming/downloaded content, no. If you bought the song(s), then yes."Can I download songs from the Zune software on my PC from the Nokia Music store? "Seems redundant, but I imagine "no". The Nokia Music app can see what songs you have in Zune and if you buy tunes, they all go into the same area, but you can't stream from one to the other.

Didn't Nokia say it's services weren't going to "Nokia only apps" like HTC's or Samsung's?I remember that they said all their apps were going to be available to the public.

As I remember they said "some"... meaning that some of thier apps would be avail to the general pool, maybe after a period of exclusive availability on Nokia.

I figured as much, but even when we get the Nokia WP devices in the U.S., I'm not so sure that we will get that service. I'm speculating only because I have the Ovi Music app (which is essentially Nokia Musik) on my N8, and the service in not available here in the U.S.But who knows what 2012 will bring :)

Hmm, this will be a great selling point for me if I choose to stream Chinese music from outside of the Chinese territories.

HI Daniel, thanks for the amazing write up! Just a minor correction, the catalog is 15 million tracks globally.Steve