iCloud: Best alternatives
Can't wait for Apple iCloud? Here are five ways to access your music from anywhere.
Apple last night unveilled iCloud, following in the footsteps (and probably learning from the mistakes) of Amazon and Google services, the iCloud launch date is currently not set, but is due to be some time this autumn.
Offering the ability to back up all Apps and documents and push them to your other iOS devices, as well as offering the oppurtunity to store and upgrade the files in your complete iTunes library, and although there is still a question mark over the cost of more than 5GB of storage, Apple's service looks set to offer others very stiff competition indeed.
This is how iCloud stacks up against the best alternatives:
Will be able to back up all MobileMe, App, and photo files to your iOS devices, and sync them to any others you may own. It also offers to download your iTunes library to any iOS device at no extra cost, whilst upgrading any music files you have to iTunes standard.
Platform: iPhone, iPod, iPad, any device running iOS 5, Macs running OS X Lion
Price: 5GB: free, Additional storage prices as yet N/A
Once you've installed the music uploader onto your Mac or PC, you can start choosing the music you want to live in the mSpot Cloud. There's 2GB storage for free users which is around 1,600 songs, and iOS and Android apps means you can stream your music or cache music when offline. If you've just added a new album to your playlist, the MSpot Cloud will reflect those changes.
Platform: Mac, PC, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android
Price: 2GB storage, free; 40GB, $3.99 a month
With over six million tracks to choose from, Sony's music unlimited subscription service streams music, Spotify-style, from its servers to your laptop, PS3 or web-enabled Bravia TV, Blu-ray deck and home cinema system. Support is also expected for Sony mobile devices and tablets in the near future.
Platform: Sony Bravia TVs, Blu-ray decks, home cinema systems, Vaio laptops, PS3
Price: £3.99 per month Basic and £9.99 per month Premium
Link: Sony Qriocity
My Music Anywhere My Hub
Launched by the Carphone Warehouse, My Music Anywhere makes a 'fingerprint' copy of your music and playlists via the desktop application. When away from your computer, you can then access all your music from servers which match your music to a six million-strong library supported by four major record labels which include Universal Music and Warner Music.
Platform: Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry
Price: £29.99 a year
Link: Carphone Warehouse
Create your account through www.audiogalaxy.com on your Mac or PC and additionally download the iPhone or Android app to access all your music, playlists with support for MP3, AAC, ALAC, FLAC, WMA and OGG music formats. You will however, need to keep the computer where you've installed the desktop application turned on to reap the full cloud music benefits.
Platform: Mac, PC, iPhone, Android
Price: Free with 200,000 song limit
One of the most popular cloud storage services to give you access to all your docs and data, Dropbox also carries audio support for the most popular music file formats including MP3, WAV file formats, Acting just like a folder on your PC, stored files can be accessed on your mobile via Android/iPhone app or via a Chrome web extension.
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry
Price: 2GB: free, 50GB: $9.99 per month, 100GB: $19.99 per month