When it comes to the cloud for music services, there are a number of providers. Here are some of the differences between them. (Keep in mind, however, that as demand arises, often differences even out.) That’s one of the great things about the cloud: its flexibility. However, at the end of the day, this same quality makes the distinctions between the major providers subject to almost constant change, as consumer demand evolves. The information following is from an article from PC Magazine from last June, and has been updated as much as possible by this author:
- Some cloud services allow the user to play music through a Web browser, and don’t require any syncing at all, one even touting the motto “Buy now, listen now, sync never.” Others may require that you have the hardware or software from that particular cloud provider in order to access and sync your music.
- Some of the cloud music providers offer a stored library of songs, but others require that you upload your entire collection onto their cloud. For major audiophiles, this can take days. With a stored library, you can either download or stream the music you want to listen to.
- There are various ways to purchase music from the cloud. The two most common are by paying a per song fee and downloading the song, or by paying a subscription fee and streaming from the provider’s library. When you do the latter, you can also save the file onto your hard drive.
Of course, there’s a fourth option, and that would be to store the music you own in your personal cloud. For instance, if you’re a big fan of the somewhat obscure band from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, Elephant’s Memory (what a great name, eh?) you may want to have your rare copy of “Mongoose” stored securely; separate and apart from the copy in your hard drive, and even as a backup for the music you may be downloading from other services. As with all of your backup needs, your ElephantDrive personal cloud can do the job. As a matter of fact, you might want to consider the versatility your personal cloud offers, as well as the convenience of having all your backup needs served by one company; and, don’t forget, the independence that decoupling from the mammoth music providers facilitates. As your backup needs continue to evolve and expand, it’s great to know that there is one solution provider that can meet them all.
It’s really easy to download iTunes, but a little instruction never hurt anyone.
At some point, will all cloud services be exactly the same? If that day comes, then the big differentiator will be customer service, and customer service takes teamwork.