[Editorial] The skies are getting Cloudy, but is there a chance of rain?

Posted on Jun 28 2011 - 2:09pm by Mike Wewerka

It’s been said for years that to much of a good thing can be bad for you. A few months ago Amazon announced it was taking its MP3 Store to the Cloud and with it, they’d be adding Cloud Storage for all your music. Amazon decided that it wanted to beat its biggest competitors, Apple and Google, to the punch and be the first company in the “Cloud.” Amazon’s service offered the ability to buy music and have it stored on their servers, or Cloud, and even upload your previously purchased music and back catalog as well. Of course, this all comes at a price and will cost more depending on the amount of storage space you require.

Next up, Google at their I/O event in May announced their offering, Music Beta by Google. This service was suppose to have support from the music industry but talks fell through in terms of pricing and thus no store or ability to purchase music was announced. Music Beta currently only offers users the ability to store and stream music from the Google Cloud. It will pull music from your iTunes folder (or anywhere else you wish), the upload assistant can even recognize when  you add new music and upload it for you. Then you can use any Android powered device and stream your music anywhere you have service or wi-fi. Currently Music Beta by Google is free while it remains in Beta, but a pricing plan will follow once the beta tag is removed. Google could be evaluating its competition and pricing accordingly. Google is also going to continue to push for a music store, which will hopefully be in place before the beta tag is removed.

In June, Apple held its annual World-Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) where it showed off their new iCloud service. A service that is virtually the same as the previous two, but with the ability to purchase music on the go and have it stored in the cloud and have the ability to playback on your iOS devices and computers. The main difference is Apple got the approval of all the major music labels and was able to work out a deal for a feature called music match, which would search for music you have and offer a higher quality version available to stream. This service is $25 dollars a year. Apple also gives users free storage, up to 5GB, anything more will cost you money, but has been said to be less than what Amazon charges.

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