Gracenote and Omnifone team for unlimited music

Heralding a new phase in unifying the consumer digital media experience, Gracenote and Omnifone have announced the first solution to provide easy integration of a consumer’s personal music collection with a unlimited music subscription service and seamless synchronisation of both across a consumer’s personal devices, from mobile phones to desktop PCs, to home entertainment systems and in-car stereos.

The combined technologies of Gracenote and Omnifone provide consumers with a personalised, holistic music experience delivering immediate and unlimited access to millions of music tracks, and the freedom to download, make playlists, get recommendations, play music wherever they are, whenever they want, on any device they choose.

For example, users can create a comprehensive U2 playlist at home on their PC using a combination of their own collection and the unlimited music service, and start playing it in their living room. Then, get in their car, and have it pick up where they left off. Later, when they are at a club, they can search for music they are looking for, then download it and have it synched to all of their devices, and get recommendations for other music they might like based on genre or user generated recommendations. On each device, the most appropriate file format and user interface is presented to ensure the best possible user experience for that environment.

Synchronisation of personal and service content with a unified consumer experience across all platforms is paramount to achieving the dramatic growth analysts project for music consumption over the next three years. Forrester’s December 2008 Jupiter Research forecast says US digital music sales will grow by 17% per year on average over the next five years to make up 41% of sales by 2013, while Juniper Research predicts the success of unlimited music services on mobile platforms will significantly grow digital music revenues, with subscription-based unlimited digital music services overtaking first generation, pay per track services and worth US $3.3 billion by 2012.

Jim Hollingsworth, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Gracenote, stated: “We understand that consumers want access to all music content, as well as a consistent digital media experience no matter where they are, on the go, at home, or in the car. What we are demonstrating is a next generation music solution to the industry that addresses this consumer demand. This is an example of the future digital entertainment experience, and exemplifies the direction that commerce, content and technology companies should be headed.”

Rob Lewis, CEO at Omnifone, said: “Omnifone’s partnership with Gracenote will make connected unlimited music services a reality in the living room, in the car, on mobile devices, and computers; everywhere we go our music collections, playlists, and recommendations will follow seamlessly, automatically and without wires.

“Historically, unlimited music service providers have focused on mobile and PC platforms, but consumers want access to music in the living room and the car, as much as the mobile and desktop computer,” continued Lewis. “This announcement means music lovers will soon have the freedom to access and consume unlimited music legally, across a wide range of device platforms, with the most appropriate user interface and file format for each device, synchronised automatically rather than having to side-load, back-up or rip compact discs.”

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