Music in the Cloud, 1 (11/28/2011 3:42 pm)
Filed under: Editorial
I'm sure you've seen plenty of articles on music in the cloud, but since I've started to play with the three major services, I've decided to write my own reviews. While you'll probably pick the service you use based on your devices, I thought it'd be interesting to give each of them a go. Here's the first of my mini-reviews, I'm going to start focusing on uploading your data to the cloud:
iTunes Match: The Cloud service from Apple offers a compelling feature for uploading your music: You don't need to actually upload it all. When the service matches a song you have with a song for sale by iTunes, it doesn't actually upload the song, just lets you access the song from the cloud. That's a great time saver, and the fact the upload is part of iTunes is nice. I did run into some issues, though. Some of my songs refused to upload. Sometimes the reason was straightforward (duplicate songs), sometimes it was annoying (something that's not really a song, but still part of a CD), and sometimes it was just a generic error that I had no way to resolve.
Amazon Music: Amazon's Cloud service will let you upload just about any song file, and using its upload application is a snap. It takes forever, though, since you'll need to actually upload everything in your collection. In my experience the app is bullet proof, and makes it trivial to upload new songs you add to your collection later.
Google Music: Google's service is the most painful. The uploader app can't decide if it's an application, a widget that you leave running, or something in between. And worse of all, it seems to randomly ignore some files in my library, and I still don't have a good idea how to tell it I have new files to upload in a folder, short of leaving it running all the time. All of this in an application that looks like a developer wrote it without thinking about design or usability at all.
The winner for uploading? Amazon's service. iTunes is a close second, with Google being somewhere after dead last.