Sony Ericsson tunes up mobile music store

Sony Ericsson kicked off this whole mobile music downloading business early with its Walkman phones and PlayNow service, offering first ringtones then

Sony Ericsson kicked off this whole mobile music downloading business early with its Walkman phones and PlayNow service, offering first ringtones then games and full music tracks.

Since then it's been outmanoeuvred by its Scandinavian foe, Nokia, with its Music Store and 8GB N95.

Now Sony Eric's fighting back with a full revamp of PlayNow, dubbed PlayNow Arena. It'll have full tracks from Sony BMG, Warner Music Group and EMI – a total of five million new songs to add to its mobile library.

That leaves only Universal Music Group missing from the big four, so no Killers, Oasis, U2 or, er, Mariah Carey. But there will be plenty of support from indies and the great unsigned thanks to PlayNow Uncut, where you can find the likes of Big Linda and Mando Diao. What do you mean you haven't heard of them? That's the point.

Expect added touches like free song previews and TrackID – the company's track name-identifying app. Sweden gets the service first, but we'll be in by June. Rock on.

Essentials

Contact: Sony Ericsson