Uninor has launched an ‘Unlimited Music’ on mobile service in all its circles, that lets listen to music from a collection of 2,50,000 songs by paying a daily charge of Rs 2.50 (Rs. 15 for 7 days and Rs. 60 for a month). What’s interesting about this development is that Uninor is providing Music Radio (toll free number 52222), Caller Tunes and Ringtones at a consolidated price, and the three services are integrated: while listening to a song on IVR, the user can press * to set it as a ringback tone, and # to download the ringtone. We’re not sure if the ringtones are DRM protected, and haven’t yet received a response from Uninor to our queries, sent yesterday. We’d be surprised if they’re DRM free.
The music has been licensed from Hungama, which aggregates music from several labels including T-Series, Big Movies, UTV and Yash Raj, as well as 30 regional labels.
A few points to note:
-The press release quotes Olav Sande, the EVP of Uninor’s Western Circle operations as saying that with this, your phone becomes your personal MP3 Player at Rs 2.50. We disagree, and find this statement misleading, since it appears that users can’t download and store MP3 files – only hear it on IVR.
– The problem with selecting ringback tones and IVR is still one of discovery: Selecting a song from the library of 2,50,000 on an IVR line would be an extremely cumbersome process. There’s room for improvement there, and we’d like to see a mobile web search based interface for the same, on the lines of Rediff Mobile Search.
Other Music Radio services:
– Vodafone offers a similar service, Vodafone Music Station where it allows users to chooses and listen to music from a selection of 40,000 songs. It charges a monthly subscription of Rs 50 and a call rate of 30 paise per minute.
– Airtel Radio from Airtel lets users listen to the song of their choice from 1.25 lakh songs. It also lets users directly dial a code to listen to songs from a particular genre or one particular song. Airtel has a web interface to search through the songs. It charges Rs 30 per month for 30 minutes of music listening.
– Aircel’s Music Connect service allows users to create playlists and share it as status updates over social networking platforms. It also has a web interface that allows listening to the songs online. Aircel charges Rs 30 per month and bundles 100 minutes of music listening on IVR.