The Battle of the Clouds

For evoking such fluffy imagery, the competition just got fierce in the market of music cloud storage.

"They're so fluffy I'm gonna die!"

I don’t claim to be a tech junkie, but I do get excited about new technology that’s going to make my life easier. So, when I was introduced to the idea of cloud storage for music and documents early last year, I was all over it. For those who are still a little unsure, cloud storage lets you upload content from one computer and access it from any other computer in the world just by signing into the account associated with your cloud storage. Google Docs and Facebook photo albums are examples of document and photo cloud storage.

It seemed Amazon had the majority of the music cloud storage market for a few months. When Amazon introduced its cloud player in March, they started all existing Amazon users with 5GB of cloud storage. Of course, there were incentives, like increased storage space for certain music purchases. Along with cloud storage, Amazon introduced their Cloud Player for playing the music you upload to the cloud. They simultaneously released an Amazon Cloud Player Android app, eliminating the need for Android users to upload music directly to their phones. Amazon’s Cloud Player also has the capability to stream music you haven’t purchased to try it out before you buy it.

Amazon may not have been the first company to come up with the idea, but they introduced the most polished product in the area to date, capturing worldwide attention. It seemed other companies took note.

Yesterday, I heard Google is trying their hand at a cloud player. And why not? They did it right with Gmail and Google Docs. Details surrounding Google Music Beta are pretty secretive, since it’s still in beta form and you have to be invited to try it out. (Snooty, I know. I requested my invitation, but so far am feeling like the only kid in my class not invited to a birthday party.) A guy that sits next to my boyfriend in class is in somehow, so I’m trying to weasel a direct invite through the grapevine. But what I’ve heard from rumors of the fabulous, beautiful elite chosen group, Google Music Beta offers 20,000 songs worth of storage, making Amazon’s 5 gigs seem stingy.

Google Music Beta

And, finally, as I logged onto my computer tonight, I was pestered by QuickTime to install the latest update of iTunes. Another update, another 60 page license agreement no one’s going to read. I usually put it off as long as I can, but I saw in the description that this update includes a beta version of Apple’s answer to cloud storage, the iCloud. (iKnow, it’s iEverything.) Apple’s offering the same 5GB Amazon offers, but the full version of iCloud won’t be released until this fall. Of course, there are the typical Apple restrictions, like an extra $25 per year to upload music to iCloud that you didn’t buy from iTunes. But, according to preliminary reviews, techies seem to find Apple’s iCloud superior once again.

Since I’ve only tried out the Amazon Cloud Player, I have no comment yet on which I prefer. But, until we’re all allowed into the secret Google Music club, there is an extensive iCloud-focused review that features a detailed comparison table of the three options near the end of the page. Which one are you liking?

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