If you are a Sony Music Unlimited service subscriber, you will be happy to know that the company is going to increase the bit rate of the tracks available for streaming to 320 kbps. I think you understand what this means. This means that the tracks you listen to will sound great on your music system or on your headphones. The service is going to be supported on the Play Station 3 video game console, a range of Android devices, and on the web based music player on the service’s web site.
The 18 million songs that the service now gives access to its subscribers will all be upgraded to this high quality digital music. The bit rate that the service is now using, 48 kbps, will probably not be available anymore. So you will be stuck with high quality internet streaming music whether you want it or not.
What does this mean to subscribers? If you have a high speed internet connection, there is nothing that you need to worry about. The music will stream just fine. But if you are on a low speed internet connection such as a 2G data network on your Android smart phone, you will face troubles getting your smart phone stream the music non stop.
As the bit rate of the tracks increases, the size of the tracks also increases, and you will need a high speed connection to be able to all those bits in one second. The competition that Sony is playing against in this industry is Spotify, Rdio, and others. At some level, even Google, Apple, and Amazon come into the picture. Therefore, Sony has to keep up the quality of the service if it needs to keep the $4.99 and $9.99 per month paying subscribers from migrating to other services.