nokia-mixradio

Nokia has rebranded its music service as MixRadio and extended the service to both Windows Phone based Lumia devices and new S40 devices across 31 countries including India.

Speaking at Nokia Music Connects, Nokia India MD P Balaji also added that 10 million tracks were downloaded from Nokia Music store on a weekly basis and this option will continue to exist in parallel to the streaming service. Note that Nokia Music had shut down its online store and its desktop client in September 2013, thereby restricting access to Nokia mobile phones alone.

Along with the rebranding, Nokia has released an updated MixRadio Windows Phone app which shift the app’s focus from a music download service to a music streaming service. The app also brings in a new feature called ‘Play Me’ which claims to offer users a personalized mix of songs based on their music preference and listening habits. One can also make use of the ‘thumbs up’, ‘thumbs down’ and the artist favorite button to further refine their music profile.  The earlier version enabled users to listen to streams only based on genre or language.

In an official blogpost, Nokia says this mix will be created from a catalogue of 26 million music tracks, although the MixRadio page on Nokia India website suggests it will be offering a catalogue of 9 million music tracks across 21 genres like Bollywood, Rock, Pop, Tamil, Marathi and Punjabi among others.

Jyrki Rosenberg, VP and Head of Nokia Entertainment said that MixRadio takes the listening history, country and the time of day to deliver this personalized content and going forward, it plans to further personalize this content based on the user’s current location. For instance, the service could provide different mixes users at the gym, office or while traveling.

The streaming service will be ad-free and requires no subscription. Users will also be able to store up to four mixes for offline listening at any point of time and share three full tracks of a specific mix with their friends on SMS, email or social networks.

While MixRadio does have a premium service called ‘Nokia MixRadio+’ which is priced at $3.99 per month and offers features like unlimited offline downloads, unlimited skips, more sound options, lyrics streaming, multi-device use and others,the service is currently limited to select markets and not available in India.

Note that this is different from the Nokia Music Unlimited service, which allows users to download unlimited DRM free songs with the purchase of select new Nokia devices for a specific period (It ranges between 3 months – 12 months depending on the handset) and keep them even after the subscription expires. This feature became limited to Nokia mobile phones only after Nokia shut its online store and desktop client earlier this year.

The current offering is somewhat similar to that of DhinganaGaana and Saavn, except you can select the songs you want to listen to with these Indian services and are not stuck with a stream with limited skips like with MixRadio. Its also worth noting that all the three players offer some sort of curated radio functionality.

As for offline listening, Dhingana lets users cache songs locally if you’re on Idea network at a rate of Rs 99 a month, while Gaana has a paid offering that lets you keep the songs locally that is priced at Rs 170 a month. Saavn has similar paid offerings called Saavn Pro which is priced at Rs 220 per month and Saavn Pro Lite which is priced at Rs 110 per month.

Merger with Xbox Music? Considering that Microsoft is in the final phases of taking over Nokia, we are a bit curious to see if Microsoft will merge this service with its Xbox Music service to offer a combined music service to its customers.

While Xbox Music is currently not available in india, it currently allows anyone with a Microsoft ID to stream songs for free in select markets. It also has a paid tier that lets users cache songs for offline listening and access the service across all devices including Windows Phone, PC and Xbox.