The release of Apple’s iCloud has had every music lover captivated since June. The very thought of being able to sync up your iPod and iTunes to a cloud in which you would have access to a countless number of songs had many quickly signing up.
Apple has always done well to create extreme brand loyalists, and those who were overly excited about iCloud were just as eager to get their hands on the latest iPhone, iPad, and iPod. However, what many are forgetting is that there are two other cloud hosting companies that are offering equally competitive cloud services: Amazon and Google.
Before you are quick to sign up for iCloud, review the following pros and cons of each cloud server. You may be surprised to find that Apple is not the right option for you:
The neatest thing about iCloud, is that you don’t have to wait around for all your music to download into the cloud. Apple quickly scans through your iTunes, makes sure that you own the songs, and then voila! your songs are in the cloud and ready to use. Apple is also entering into contracts with big time record companies to provide users with a better iTunes and music experience.
The iCloud does have one big flaw, however. But this flaw is indicative of most Apple products: iCloud will only play iTunes either from iTunes or off an iOS device. You can’t play anything from a web browser. So if you like the idea of the iCloud, but aren’t an Apple enthusiast, you will have some syncing issues.
Amazon’s Cloud Player
Cloud Player is ideal for those who want to do one thing and one thing only with their music collection: store their files elsewhere. Storing multiple music files on your computer can really slow it down and quickly deplete memory, and with Cloud Player, you can free up computer space by storing all your music files elsewhere. Amazon does have an outstanding collection of music though – only a little behind iTunes – and your songs can be played from any browser or device. It’s also free which is nice when considering iCloud’s $24.99 annual fee.
The biggest downside to Amazon’s cloud is that you literally have to wait for all your music to upload. If you have a larger music collection, this could take many hours, if not days.
Google’s Music Beta
Out of the three clouds, Music Beta offers the least to its customers. While the service is free and allows users to store up to 20,000 songs, it doesn’t offer much else. Users can’t purchase any music through Music Beta. Unlike Amazon and Apple, Google’s product also won’t let users store anything other than music.
The big decision really comes down between Amazon and Apple. Although Google gave a valiant effort, its cloud services are better served for other spectrums such as GoogleDocs, not music. The big deciding factor for anyone interested in a cloud music service will truly come down to your interest in Android or Apple. If you find yourself gravitating towards Android, then go for Amazon. But if you own nothing but Apple, then by all means purchase the iCloud.