Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Cloud Music Services

Now that Apple has joined Google and Amazon with it's "cloud" music service, I feel it's time to ask a question that has been bugging me since this all started, "Why?"

I'm sure there are some people that will find this solution perfect for them, but why?

Here is my issue. I have about 18GB of music or roughly 3300 songs. Of those songs I probably only listen to about 20-25% (about 6GB) of them on a regular basis. And that is when I'm not listening to podcasts or streaming music from Last.FM.

I have a nice HTC EVO 4G with 8GB of physical memory. I don't use all of that for music because I need some room for other things but I can get most if not all of the songs I listen to regularly on that device. Since it's also my phone I carry it with me pretty much every where I go, so my favorite tunes are always a finger touch away.

Storing all that music in the cloud, regardless of who is providing it, requires at least some uploading and fees. Not just fees to the music service but ISP fees. Lots of ISP services, be it wired or wireless are now putting in data caps. Using these services you will be eating into those data limits. Wouldn't you want to save that for video or other online services?

One argument I've heard for these services is that all your music will be backed up. You don't have to worry about your hard drive crashing and all your music being lost. I'm all for data backups, but you should have been doing that long before these services came around. Having 18GB of music, some purchased online, some ripped from CDs, some from who knows where, I wouldn't be happy if my hard drive died, but I do periodic backups, I feel my music is relatively safe. If a catastrophe were to occur where my backup was destroyed because I didnt backup to the cloud...well lets just say I'd have more important things to worry about at that point than my music collection.

OK so for me I see, increased Internet data usage and fees. I see no benefit other than backup, but I already do that at no cost. All the music I want is available already on my phone, either streaming or stored locally.

So again I ask, "Why would anyone use these services?" Is the marketing just that good or am I missing something?

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