Music in the cloud - Spotify, MOG, Rdio, etc.

MoreSuccess

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#1
The way we can listen to music is being transformed by moving into the cloud and going to a subscription model. Few of us can afford to buy all the music we'd really like to have, and if you do buy it, then you eventually struggle with how to access your music using the latest technology. Whether it's moving it from tape to CD, CD to MP3, or trying to get a MP3 from one device to another when it's copy protected, it's a hassle and sometimes people just pay again for music they supposedly already own.

The nice thing about cloud music services is you just pay $5 or $10/month, and you have access to millions of songs, which probably includes all your favorite music plus more you can discover. No more tough decisions about which music to buy, just try it all as you wish. No need to store a huge music library anymore, just stream what you want or pre-download it onto mobile devices.

The other great thing about these services is sharing playlists. When someone else creates a great playlist, you can copy their playlist without effort. It introduces a social side of music where you can hook up with friends and share your own playlists or share them with the entire Internet.

For mobile devices it's also great, although you typically have to pay $10/month instead of $5/month. Depending on the service, you can sync your favorite music down to your mobile device without the hassle of activating devices and cumbersome copy protection schemes. The level of functionality you get from the mobile devices vs. the PC varies by the service.

How about quality? If you have MP3 files today, many may be at a fairly low quality of 128kbps. That's the best you get with iTunes unless you pay extra for the Plus songs, which is a decent 256kbps AAC. However some of the music services go better, doing 320kbps. Several of the top services include Spotify, MOG, and Rdio. I've subscribed to all three in the past and have jumped around between them a few times, right not am using Spotify.

I think this could be a good trend for the music industry, I think people will be less inclined to pirate music in exchange for the convenience and affordable monthly rate. Then artists can get paid by actual listens and removing the middleman of record labels and stores.

I wonder if and when Apple will get into this market, it has to be a huge threat to them. People have been saying they don't even need iTunes once they switch to a cloud solution.

Any thoughts?
 
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#2
At Radical, we've taken a different approach. While other internet radio services make a symbolic nod toward independent artists by including a few tracks, Radical Indie provides a free, worldwide, full-featured, internet radio service dedicated fully to unsigned musicians and bands to showcase their music, without limitations. Radical Indie is now open for musicians to upload their music in advance of a launch later this year.

Radical Indie is a sister service of Radical.FM - check us out.

Read the press release – http://bit.ly/ocVp2N
 

MoreSuccess

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#3
Thanks Frank, that sounds like a great way for indie artists to get connected to music lovers, and I like free. The paradigm of music delivery is undergoing major changes right now and I love to see innovation and competition that benefits both the artists and the consumer, and hopefully reducing piracy while making music more affordable.
 

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#5
I just updated my original post as I switched yet again, this time to Spotify, as they have the most to offer me right now as a primarily mobile user.
 
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#6
I've used both Rdio and Spotify. Generally speaking, they're both great services and have a comparable selection of albums and songs. I tend to lean towards Spotify since I think the interface is more polished (it has more right click menus throughout it). The things I don't really care for with Spotify is how it requires you to use a Facebook login, because you know where this is going - it spams everything you're listening to out to all of your Facebook friends by default. The other thing I don't like about it is how it wont "close" when you close the program, it takes an extra step to right click on the icon and choose "quit". Both of these things are pretty obnoxious. Rdio on the other hand, has a more simple piece of software, but it doesn't spam everyone and it closes when you close it.
 

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#7
My Spotify account isn't linked to Facebook, maybe I was grandfathered in with a prior account management system. I wouldn't like being forced to use a Facebook account either. A big reason I switched from Rdio to Spotify is when Spotify added radio channels. It's for music discovery or when I'm in the mood for something different, and unlike Pandora, if I find a song I like, I can add it to a playlist and play it anytime I want. I also like the high bit rate on all music and that you can configure that bit rate differently for streaming vs. offline. The one thing I miss on Rdio is the social networking setup, I used it to discover people with similar music interests, and found some interesting music that. But I didn't like their new web interface as compared to the Spotify Windows app, it was difficult at times to do what I wanted.
 
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#8
Another strike against Spotify for me was that a few weeks ago, they made a bunch of changes to their user agreement. I tried reading through the whole thing, but it was a bunch of confusing legalese. At best, it more or less sounds like they are covering their behinds to share even more of your user activity with others publicly. I really don't like how it's linked with my social media accounts, because by default it spams all of your friends on a regular basis. I really doubt my friends want their news feeds monopolized with Spotify updates from me every time I am listening to a few albums while getting some work done.
 
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#9
I use Spotify and I absolutely love it. I have Spotify premium which enables me to use it on my phone. I find it so handy to have all the music I want at the tip of my fingers. They have plenty of artists and even the less popular ones. I've used Pandora too and I was really satisfied with the song recommendations, it's a great way to discover new music.
 

Tumbleweed

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#10
I use both Spotify and Pandora, and have also tried the new i-Tunes Radio, which (at least thus far)is not up to the quality that I expect from an Apple product.
I love that I can find and add all the songs I want onto my playlist on Spotify, so I can actually play the songs I want, rather than what they think I want to hear, like Pandora does. Once you choose an artist and make that station, you will probably hear very few songs actually by that particular artist, and may not even enjoy the songs that Pandora thinks are similar.

However, the nice thing about Pandora, is that you can use it on about any device, and use the free version; whereas Spotify wanted $10 a month for me to play it anywhere except on my computer.
So, I use Spotify on the computer, where it is also free, and Pandora on the iPhone or the iPad.
 

MyDigitalpoint

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#11
I found useless pay for music whether online or offline when there are countless resources where you can download it for free and get it stored for free in any online storage service.

Copyrighted music is usually available for free from many large companies that buy the rights to allow people download it at no cost, as in example, Pepsi and many brands of alcoholic beverages.