By Patrick Avenell

BlackBerry has this morning launched its subscription music sharing service. And just like the smartphones themselves, BBM Music is a little bit different.

Unlike Samsung’s Music Hub and Sony’s Music Unlimited, BBM Music (the M stands for Messenger) does not grant users access to a catalogue of songs from major record labels, but rather 50 songs from their friends’ collection.

At any time, a BBM user can have 50 songs in their shared catalogue, with other users in their music community (BlackBerry’s term) able to stream and cache these songs on their own handsets. There’s no limit to the number of friends in a community, so if you can find 19 other people to join yours, you’ll have 1,000 songs to choose from.

While listening to tracks, you can see which of your friends shared the track and, using BBM’s particularly good messaging functionality, chat about it.

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There are some limitations, the biggest one being that everyone needs to be using a BlackBerry. Furthermore, you can only swap 25 songs per month, meaning that one hit wonder you liked for an instant could be on your phone for two months before you can get rid of it. There is also a cost: $5.99 per month, after a free 30-day trial.

To take up this free trial, BlackBerry users need to download the BBM Music app from BlackBerry App World and be running the latest version of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM 6).

The local MD of BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion, Adele Beachley, has provided her Top 5 tracks for sharing on BBM Music.

1. Go West (The Cult)
2. Mexican Radio (Wall of Voodoo)
3. Lips Like Sugar (Echo and the Bunnyman)
4. Never Tear Us Apart (INXS)
5. La Cuidad de la Furia (Soda Stereo)

Patrick’s Top 5 songs at the moment:

1. Helena Beat (Foster the People)
2. She’s Thunderstorms (Arctic Monkeys)
3. Creatures (The Panics)
4. An End Has A Start (The Editors)
5. The Whale Song (Modest Mouse)