How many of you own a cloud? Well, as far as I know, many of you own a cloud or two, without even knowing about it! Cloud Computing is the buzz-word these days. Everyone wants to jump into the cloud business. The People are also willing to put their documents on the cloud, rather than carrying them in a pen-drive or a CD. Well Naturally People also want their Music Collection to go everywhere with them and not with an extra-burden of carrying a CD Case or an external hard-disk everywhere. Music Lockers they are called. And Currently two large companies are giving them this facility for free.:
1. Amazon CloudPlayer
Launched in March 2011, Amazon CloudPlayer is one of the few online music lockers, which one can 'use' outside USA. The Amazon Cloud Player, to its U.S. users offers a service to download the tracks from their online store to their cloud Drive and an option to use their Cloud Drive to upload their own songs. So you can listen to the tracks you've already downloaded. You can use your Amazon CloudPlayer ID to play the tracks anywhere in the world.
The Option to Buy the tracks and store directly to the cloud drive, eliminates the computer hard-disk in the process of listening the music. This is a really good thing because it saves the user from the hassle of downloading a song and uploading it back again.
Connectivity: The cloudplayer can be opened from any Web Enabled Device. You just need a good browser and a decent screen size to peacefully play tracks. However you'll find a dedicated application for Android Mobiles (Only in US) also.
Google Music Beta was announced at the Google I/O held this month. While Google's Music is very much 'similar' to Amazon's cloudPlayer it is not exactly the same. Google Music provides the users with an online storage for their songs, A Dedicated application for the management and uploading of music, An Android App and a Website that allows you to listen music anywhere. Also Google Music has a feature to work offline on all devices, so if you are out of internet coverage it can play the recently played tracks.
While Amazon does provide users with an option to download the music straight from an online MP3 store. Google has no such option. So basically what you'll have to do is this: Download a song from the internet and then put it back up. And that is a tiresome job.
Connectivity: Google Music is currently in Beta Stages and available by invitation only and the service is only for the US Residents while it is still in the beta stages. As far as Mobile Devices are concerned, Android users are getting an app and others can use the website to play music, which innocently touts a flash interface, blocking the iOS Users from using it.
We just saw two different cloud music lockers. Both of them work on your input. You need to download a song first, and then you need to upload it to the cloud again, just for the sake of using it everywhere. And you are doing this for every song you download, and if this service at all gets popular, the same process will be done by millions of people making millions of duplicates of a single song on the internet, contributing to a lot of Digital Garbage. This is different when you use your iDisks and Dropboxes to put files on the internet, those are unique files you won't find elsewhere. And it is wise to store it on a single location rather than making multiple-copies of the same file on every computer.
Let the Music be on one Single Cloud And let users take the music from there. This way, more and more people can listen to music through one source. Also The Music Locker should directly be connected to the Music Application we currently have on our computers, and Mobile Devices. And if possible we can make it available to everyone in the world and not just the United States (Where every cloudplayer seems confined today).
Wrap Up: Currently Cloud Music is Very Amateurishly implemented. Companies want a lot of input from their users, who are unwilling to take the pains. Cloud-Services need to be tackled differently for every different utility. While the current approach may be good for Text and Picture content, it is naive to think it will be the same for Music and Movies. However, if you are too despirate to use Cloud Music Players, I'd suggest the Amazon Cloud Player, which requires the least effort from your side.