Best Buy announced “Music Cloud” on Wednesday, a new service that will compete directly with other cloud-based music services from Apple, Amazon, and Google. Best Buy Music Cloud is powered by Play Anywhere and, after a quick sign-up process, users can download the application to their Mac or PC, as well as to an iPhone, Android device or BlackBerry. Once the respective applications are installed, Music Cloud allows you to stream tunes or cache them for offline playback. The free package allows access to the Best Buy Web player only, so you’ll need to cough up $4 per month for the premium package to access your tunes wherever you go. More →
Apple is expected to finally unveil its cloud-based music service next month at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco. Unlike similar products recently introduced by Google and Amazon that feature limited utility, Apple is thought to have deals in place with major record labels that will allow it to offer a paid service and a simplified library building process. The service has been rumored to be in development for years, and now Bloomberg Businessweek has supposedly spilled the beans, detailing exactly how the offering will work. Citing anonymous sources who were briefed on Apple’s talks with record labels, Apple’s cloud music service will constantly scan a user’s iTunes library and mirror the songs on Apple servers. The user will then be able to stream the music to any PC, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and some day, even to a car. While the appeal of such a service might be questionable due to the ever-increasing storage capacity of Apple’s portable iOS devices, it is believed that Apple plans to charge a monthly fee for the service. More →
Google has updated its brand new Google Music application for Android application with one change that will be welcome to many users. It’s now possible to delete songs directly from your microSD card — an option that was frustratingly missing from the original launch — and it should include bug fixes as well. The search engine announced Google Music in tandem with its new Music Beta cloud storage platform earlier this month, and if you haven’t given it a try yet we highly suggest that you do. The app’s user interface is a large improvement over the default Android music player. The update is free and is available in the Android Market now.
mSpot just took the wraps off of its new Radio Spotter Beta app for Android, which will allow users to listen to their own cloud-based music, as well as tunes from streaming radio stations. It works like this: you can match any song you’re playing from your own collection to a radio station to continue playing similar music, or you can select a specific radio station based on genre directly from the application itself. There’s even a new mSpot Music Android application with the built-in Radio Spotter support, so you can take your stations on the go, too. mSpot provides 5GB of space free to new users, but you can sign up for 40GB for $3.99 per month if you have a larger music collection. The company says an iPhone version of the application with Radio Spotter support will launch later this year. Hit the jump for the full release from mSpot. More →
Google is expected to announce its long anticipated entrance into cloud-based music on Tuesday from its Google I/O conference in San Francisco. The New York Times reports that the service will initially be called Music Beta by Google, and it will allow users to store 20,000 songs in a cloud locker for free, which can then be accessed by any PC or Android device. Activity will be synced automatically between devices, so playlists created on one device will be accessible from all others, according to the report. Like Amazon’s recent Cloud Drive and Cloud Player offerings, it is expected that Google will launch its service without the support of major record labels. Also like Amazon’s offering, the service is expected to initially be very limited in functionality. In the beginning, Music Beta will reportedly be accessible by invite only. Motorola XOOM users with Verizon Wireless models will all receive invitations, and others will be able to sign up for invites at music.google.com. There is currently no timeline in terms of when the service might become available to the general public. We’ll be on hand reporting live from I/O later today, so be sure to tune in for all the latest news as it breaks.
Sony has officially dropped the suggested retail price of the PSP in Europe to €129.99 ($187.29). This follows the company’s February 25th announcement that it was slashing the price of its gaming system to $129.99 in the United States. Sony also said that — beginning on April 14th — PSP owners will be able to access an unlimited cloud-based music service called Music Unlimited. Powered by Qriocity, Music Unlimited will allow PSP owners to listen to customized music channels or sync up with tunes stored on their PlayStation 3, PC, or other Sony devices. “The price cut is aimed at increasing adoption of the player in Europe,” said Sony spokesperson Satoshi Fukuoka. The move may also be tied to the recent launch of the Nintendo 3DS, which we reviewed earlier this month. More →
According to sources speaking to The Music Void, Apple may launch a revamped MobileMe service this year with a new “music locker” feature, which would allow iTunes users to store and access music in the cloud. The idea of an online storage feature in MobileMe is nothing new, but Apple may already have a deal with Warner Music Group that will allow users to access music in the cloud. This could, for example, allow users to stream music from their iTunes library to any computer, or allow users to re-download tracks they’ve already paid for. Despite rumors that a free version of MobileMe is in the works, The Music Void argues that Apple will charge around $20 per year for the new, cloud service. For now it’s all a hearsay, but hopefully we’ll hear more in the next month or so. More →