Sony's cloud-based Qriocity music service debuts in France, Germany, Italy and Spain

Sony has just announced that Qriocity, the strangely named cloud-based digital music service it aims to rival Apple’s iTunes with, is now immediately available in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The service, which is apparently called “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” in full, made its debut in the UK and Ireland in December 2010, and provides users with access to a catalogue of millions of songs from labels like – surprise – Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and EMI Music as well as several independent labels and publishers.

Users can play music any time on Sony devices like its Internet-enabled BRAVIA TV, Blu-ray Disc player, Blu-ray Disc Home Theater system, PlayStation 3 as well as VAIO and other PCs.

All existing PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems in France, Germany, Italy and Spain will have access to Qriocity. Sony says the service will also be made available on a range of Sony’s portable devices, as well as on Sony and third-party Android-based mobile devices and ‘other portable devices’.

Qriocity isn’t free, of course – “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” comes in two flavors: a Basic plan (3.99 euros per month) and a Premium plan (9.99 euros per month).

The difference explained:

The Basic plan works as an infinite ad-free radio station and subscribers can listen to dozens of personalized channels – categorized by genre, era as well as mood through SensMe – without the requirement to download or manage their music files.

Additionally, the Premium subscription plan offers a one-time 30 day Premium free trial enabling users to listen in full to every song on demand, create personal playlists of favorites, and gain access to premium Top 100 channels which are regularly updated with the latest hits.

Sony earlier launched “Video On Demand powered by Qriocity” a video streaming service, in the United States in April 2010 and expanded the service to France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK in November 2010.

Sony says the video streaming service will also become available in Japan on January 26.