Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cloud Computing

The cloud and me?

A lot of buzz has been abound on the web about cloud computing. So what exactly does this mean for us as consumers? Amazon, Apple, Google are all clamoring about "shifting are digital hub from our computers to the CLOUD" as told by the late Steve Jobs. So what the hell does that mean? Basically the cloud is storage on a company's server that is accessed by our devices eg. Computer, Phone, Tablet etc, instead of it all being stored on our computers hard drives. Now this has been around for a while: gmail & carbonite, but this concept is different. It's about consumption of media and keeping it all in sync. Some of these services are iTunes Match, Google Music, and Amazon Cloud Player.

iTunes Match/iCloud:

You ever purchase a song on iTunes? I bet you have. It used to be a pain in the ass to have to then hook up all your devices to keep them in sync. Not anymore. With iCloud everything is kept in sync automatically. Take a photo on one "iDevice" it shows up on ones PC or Mac its automatic no work needed no wires and no HEADACHES.
Now iTunes match handles will take your music collection and keep it in the cloud and match your library to the 20 million songs in the itunes library. Have a large Billy Joel collection like me? Well now it matched and upgraded to a higher bit rate. Which means my 128 KB song will be upgraded to 256, making it sound better and crisper. Though if iTunes can't match it will be uploaded but not upgraded. Also iTunes Match will not change your metadata. So if your song info is wrong it WILL NOT fix it. Also, if a song has a higher bit rate it will not lower it.

To activate said service update iTunes to 10.5.1(http://itunes.com) on the left sidebar click on iTunes match then click subscribe. iTunes Match costs 24.99 per year. Which will
help you if you've "Stolen" your music, but I'm not here for a morality lesson so let's not get into that.

After subscribing it will scan and match your library so instead of uploading 25000 songs you're probably only going to have to upload a lot less. After it's all done your iTunes library will look more like this.

To activate on an iOS device make sure your running iOS 5 and then go to Settings

Google Music: Google isn't new to the cloud game. They haven't had the same issues that have plagued apple. MOBILE ME ANYONE? But now it seems Larry Page is ready to take on the monster that is iTunes with Google music. And with competition comes innovation. Google has launched a store for music and the cloud to keep it all in sync for all your Android Fans. Now music is available in one place on all your android devices, tablets phones etc. Though you will have to upload all your songs

The thing I love about Google music is its all in one place. You can buy all your music in the android market. It's personalized to your tastes too. There's nothing better then finding new music you'll love for years to come. Plus you can stream the music from your devices over an internet connection. No connection? Have evil tiered data caps or fears of throttling? No problem you can save the music to your device for offline enjoyment.http://music.google.com/about/.All this is available to you with no wires and no syncing either it all just works.

Amazon Cloud Drive: Not to be biased but this option is a little less desirable but still pretty neat. Amazon cloud drive gives you 5GB storage for ANY file including music, though any song purchased from Amazon is stored for free. Though if you have a lot of music like me you'll be able to purchase more space (1 dollar per GB 20 GB=20 USD a month. Amazon also touts unlimited access via computer, phone apps, etc.

iTunes Match: 8/10.Match is a great service it does a lot to alleviate the stress of having to upload thousands upon thousands of tracks. It also removes DRM and makes song tracks sound way better especially if you ripped a lot of CD's. On the downside it doesn't give you the option to clean up your meta-data and some of my explicit songs were replaced with censored versions.

Google Music: 7/10 Google makes an excellent foray into music. Much more happy with this then their video rental service via youtube. This service allows personalization streaming of your music which match does not support yet and integration with the Android Market. The downside is that you'll have to upload any music that wasn't purchased which can take hours or even days

Amazon Cloud Player: 2/10. The one nice thing I can say about Amazon is it actual will let you store what you want in your cloud space. But hey I have 50 GB free with Box.com. Amazon doesn't have match and its 5GB free storage just doesn't seem right for music storage. And 500 dollars for 500 GB of storage? You can easily get 4 times that amount of storage for way cheaper by simply buying an external hard drive.

Written By: Derek
Twitter: @Derek712

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