How do you store your music in this, the digital age? Jewel cases and cardboard sleeves still seem like the best way to go, but if you’re into newfangled technology, you may be considering putting all of your precious auditory assets into ‘the cloud.’ Also known as virtual locker services, big-name tech companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon offer these off-site storage spaces with varying features and price points.
As of Tuesday, the NY Times Media Decoder reports that Amazon’s Cloud Player just got a little more accessible, as they’ve finally brokered deals with all of the major labels. What this does is allow users to ‘match’ their music to Amazon’s library, removing the manual process of uploading individual tracks, a big breakthrough in usability. Apple’s similar iTunes Match has been in place since they started offering their iCloud service, so this new feature finally puts Amazon’s service on a level playing field, at least from a features standpoint.
If you’re thinking of making the switch from Apple to Amazon, though, beware that any of your iTunes purchases that pre-date 2009 will probably not be accepted, due to the DRM copy protection that Apple included on all of its music sales back in the day. Even though Amazon’s Cloud Player allows you to match songs at 256 kbps, even when your files aren’t that fancy, and though the price point of $24.99 for 250,000 songs (free for accounts under 250 songs) is overall a better deal compared to iTunes’ limit of 25,000 songs outside of what you’ve purchased from iTunes for the same price, the no-DRM file issue will be a big barrier for many to jump ship. Though, how many people in 2012 who are into Apple are really considering abandoning their favorite corporate entity?
If you enjoy spending hours changing out individual discs to digitize your collection followed by waiting for files to upload one at a time, then Google Play’s lack of matching, due to their ongoing playground fight with the labels over what they see as Google’s lack of proper policing of online file sharing, is the cloud service for you. The only big-name locker service that is not beholden to the major labels, you’ll actually be uploading and storing your own files, and not ‘matched’ copies of them, with Play.
Whichever cloud you decide to hop on, you’re bound to find yourself frustrated with some aspect of the process, whether it’s the interminable delays of uploading, or the realization that you really aren’t free to do with your music what you choose. Happy storing!