When it comes to music, I am completely addicted to cloud based music services. Nothing beats the convenience of streaming your music from whatever device you have handy. It’s great. When I buy music, I don’t even bother downloading it anymore. I may eventually regret doing this, but I leave everything in the cloud and so far it’s been great.
Amazon’s Cloud Player
My go-to cloud music source is Amazon’s Cloud Player. It works on my phone, on my laptop, on my work desktop, anywhere I might want to listen to music. I’ve used the music matching service to “upload” many thousands of songs, which goes quickly since you don’t actually upload songs Amazon already has in their library. So now anywhere I have a data connection, I aslo have access to my full music library. If I am out driving with my 4 year old and we need some good sing-a-long tunes, I have them. If I am on the train and want something a little more calming, I have that too. It’s great.
[Disclaimer: I work for Alexa Internet, which is an Amazon company]
Spotify is a subscription service that allows you to stream any song/album/artist in their library. We haven’t taken the plunge and upgraded to Spotify Premium, but so far I am happy with the ad supported free version. The Spotify library, while not perfect, is amazing. It is rare that I can’t find what I am looking for. The only reason we haven’t upgraded to premium is there’s no family membership, and it’s unclear whether or not Raelene and I can share the same account. Spotify also requires you to download a piece of software to play your music, so it’s not as portable as Amazon’s web based Cloud Player.
I tried Google Music when it first came out, and had such a bad experience I haven’t paid much attention since. They have made a number of improvements, of course. Instead of spending weeks uploading your library, you can now buy music directly through Google and have it added to your cloud account. A few days ago Google also announced a music matching service similar to what Amazon and Apple provide, so you don’t have to actually upload files they already have on their servers. If I wasn’t so happy with Amazon’s Cloud Player I would give Google another shot.
Apple iTunes is the number one reason I wont own an iPhone. It has always been a difficult to use mess, and the latest version is the worst yet. I like Apple laptop and desktop machines, I am writing this blog post on a Macbook Air, but I want as little to do with iOS and iTunes as possible.
Pandora is an online radio station, sort of like Spotify but they queue up songs for you. It’s nice if you just want to listen to music but are away from your car radio, but is also a bit of a relic. Unfortunately the last time I tried to use Pandora it told me I needed to upgrade to a new version of the site, but when I upgraded it told me I needed to upgrade to a new version of the site…
There are a lot of other music services out there, of course. These are just the ones I have had experience with. These days I’m more interested in keeping myself and my child entertained, and less in new, independent music discovery. My child, on the other hand, likes music but immediately wants to know where the pictures are. She is happy with music that you sing or music that you play, but if it comes from something electronic she expects there to be images as well. I’m not sure why.