Cloud music players have exploded in popularity in recent years. The ability to listen to music chosen by the user at any location with internet access is very appealing, and millions of users have taken their musical enjoyment needs to the cloud with apps like Pandora and Spotify. But what about playlist access when there is no internet service?
Luckily there are many cloud providers that do allow offline access to files, and others can be configured to allow offline access. In this article, we will take a look at the top 4 cloud music players available.
While Dropbox isn't technically a music player, it makes the list because it can be easily configured to be an excellent music player that allows users to access and stream their own music from anywhere. Dropbox has many uses, and one of the top uses is to create a cloud-based music library. Here is a more detailed descriptive post on how to stream music using Dropbox.
Users can access their music from any computer, as well as the Dropbox app on Android and iOS. There are several additional apps that help users more efficiently configure Dropbox to be an excellent cloud music player — Songbox, BoxyTunes and DropTunes to name a few. One of the best features is that Dropbox keeps your files on their server, but they also back up all your files to your hard drive for offline access. And there are no file size limits with Dropbox, so you can even upload huge video files or other large files that you cannot access with other cloud services due to their size limit restrictions.
iTunes Match is a music service that uses iCloud in order to allow users to store, access and play their music files. A subscription costs $24.99 per year, and allows users to store up to 25,000 songs. Users can access their music from practically anywhere, on practically any device including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, or Apple TV. Apple matches users' tracks — for instance, if a user is attempting to upload a track that Apple already has in its database, it simply replaces the track the user is attempting to upload with the track from the database. This saves the user time and bandwidth.
Amazon's music service, Amazon MP3, is similar to a large storage bin or filing cabinet — but for songs. Users can upload up to 250 tracks of their own, but can purchase unlimited tracks from the Amazon MP3 store. For the premium service, users will pay $24.99 per year which allows them to upload up to 250,000 tracks. While Amazon claims this is 10x more storage than iTunes Match, it still falls far short of the Google Play Music premium service.
Users can access their playlists from a computer browser on PCs and Macs, or they can use the Android, Blackberry and iOS apps for mobile device access. Users that purchase tracks can download them to their hard drives or devices in order to access tracks offline.
Google Play Music
Google fully intends to be tops in cloud music streaming and access with their superior music service called Google Play Music. User can upload 20,000 music tracks and listen to them anytime for free. Google also checks users' playlist when they are uploading files to make sure that there are no duplicates, which can save users time, bandwidth and space. And another great feature, playlists are accessible from any computer, as well as up to 10 devices.
For $9.99 users can upgrade to Google's All Access plan, which allows users to upload up to 20 million songs. It also gives access to streaming radio with no interruptions and the ability to skip songs.
*It should also be noted that music purchased from the Google Play store or added from All Access doesn't count toward the user's track limit.