First in the series of posts where I discuss my move to the cloud, this post is all about audio services.
iTunes Match – £21.99 per Year
iTunes match is a service from apple that, scans your music and makes all of the songs in your collection available in the cloud. It means that even songs ripped from CD are redownloadable and can be listen to any of the apple devices you have. For me, this was game changing, it no longer requires me rebuy all the music I have already bought on cd. It also has the added perk of up scaling my music to 320KB and adds cool stuff like album art. The only problem with this service is that it requires iTunes or an apple device to access it and it’s price.
Spotify – Free for Streaming
Spotify is a online music streaming services that has been around for a while. I know that is has been very popular for a long time, but personally for the longest time I wasn’t a fan of the service. I didn’t like that I had to install a piece of software to get it to work, I didn’t like had to pay to access music on my phone or tablet. There was also not a web interface for listening to music. However over the last year, the services has changed. The mobile apps are now free, allowing for advert based streaming on your devices. There is also a amazing web player now. It is a cool service, but I have only lately started using it. I think it is a good place to find new music and artists, now if I really like the band I end up buying the music on iTunes to keep the music offline and so I can listen on the go without internet.
Audible – £15 per month for 2 books
Audible is an online audiobooks company owned and run by amazon. It is without doubt the best place online for audiobooks. I have been a member since 2009 and have over 100 books in my audio collection. It is a great service and has a tonne of choice. It is a shame however that it seems like they are the only people that are really in the audiobooks game. Other companies don’t really exists or their offer is very limited. The main problem with this service is that it is DRMed. This means that the downloaded files can be played on any device, but first have to be verified. Audible has worked hard with it’s mobile apps, so it is a simple process to download the apps, login and download the book straight from the app. However you are limited by the number of devices you have. It also makes it hard to share your audiobooks between friends and family.
Libirvox – Free
Libribox is a service I have discussed before, which is a community lead free audiobook service. All books are read by volunteers for free and the source material is based around books are have gone out of copyright and become part the public domain. There is even a libribox iPhone app for it now.
Podcasts – Free
Podcasts from Apple is a free podcatcher that downloads podcasts redirectly to your apple device. It can be installed on any iOS device and the subscriptions and played can be synchronized between devices and to iTunes on your computer. It is not the best cloud solution as it locks me to apple again, but it is a small price to pay for the incredible ease of use.
Did I miss anything, let me know in the comments below.