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Beats a’ Comin’

Jan. 21 launch of heavily-promoted, highly-anticipated music service

It would be hard to miss the arrival of the Beats Music service, Jan. 21. The latest player in the mosh pit of Internet-delivered music has been heavily promoted in several media outlets. It’s also benefitted from its relationship with celebrities such as Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine along with hardware such as popular earbuds, computer audio and pint-sized portable speakers.

Like most services, it claims a Radar O’Reilly-like sense of anticipating your next need, in music, that is. “Beats Music brings fans and music lovers an unparalleled personalized and curated listening experience that answers two important questions: What should I listen to? and what song comes next?,” according to a release.

Beats does boast a lot of music, big names and experience behind it: “Beats Music features a vast catalog of more than 20 million fully licensed songs from all the major labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group, as well as all independent labels — managed and maintained by a team of music experts with hundreds of years of curatorial expertise.” That includes former radio execs and industry writers.

One difference that Beats touts is that it isn’t relying on algorithms to divine a listener’s tastes and desires but rather is dependent on “a comprehensive collection of editorialized playlists from some of the most well-respected music brands in the world, including Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, DJ Mag, Country Weekly, Hot97/Power 106, among many others.”

But of course there will be some computerized secret sauce added. Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers said, “Beats Music combines the emotion only a human created playlist can give you with the best personalization technology can deliver.”

Besides standard Internet, the service will be available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone mobile devices. Initially a free trial is available, after which a $9.99/month subscription fee will apply.

Early promotional deals heavily favor AT&T as a delivery vehicle for mobile customers. Target also has Beats Music-related deals for purchasers of electronics.