Hands on with RIM's new BBM Music service
RIM just launched a closed beta of their new BBM Music service that is focused on the social experience. Don't be fooled by the 50 song statements in the press release as you get full access (online streaming and offline caching) to your songs and those of all of your BBM friends.
Check out my full ZDNet Smartphones & Cell Phones article that includes a hands-on video of the service in action.
You can create playlists on the go by simply selecting the songs. Playlists can then be shared with your BBM friends.
The first tab of BBM shows you your recent activitites. You will see actions that your friend is taking with BBM Music.
The BlackBerry menu button gives you access to several different menu options.
There are just a few options in BBM Music, including when to have your songs streamed and some controls on content.
The second tab over gives you access to your collection of songs. You can quickly shuffle them all with a single selection too.
There are several functions you can perform while browsing through your music collection.
You can post comments for your profile or attach them to specific songs.
Songs can be cached for offline enjoyment using the menu option.
You can choose to view song details when you have a song selected in your list.
You can check out who shared the song you are listening to and then decide what you want to do with it, including adding it to your song collection or adding it to a playlist.
You can view a friend's collection and take actions on songs.
You can use the search box to filter through your shared songs too.
When a song is playing you can use the on-screen controls and view the album art.
There are several functions available when you are in the now playing area.
When you choose to buy a song you can purchase it through Amazon MP3.
The BBM Music catalog is shown on the last tab of the interface.
There are a few default folders/categories to choose from in the catalog to help you find your music.
One organizational area is staff picks.
There are subcategories available in a few areas that you just tap or select on to switch into.
There are only a few genres available at this time, but since the service is still early in development this may increase as they continue the roll out.
You can switch between top songs and top albums in the catalog.
You can search from multiple areas and these are the ways that the results appear on your BlackBerry.
Search results can be filtered by albums or songs.
If you tap or select a song then a 30 second preview will play. Tap the + icon to add it to your 50 song collection.
You can also use the recommended option to discover music faster in BBM Music.
These are the options available when you choose to share your songs.
When you send a song via email a link is sent to a recipient. At this time the link does not work since the service is still in beta.
There are a couple of ways to interact with your BBM friends in BBM Music.
You can write comments to people or for specific songs.
Tapping the far right icon gives you access to these options while listening to a song.
When you listen to a song a friend shared their BBM profile picture will appear.
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