The mobile phone giant might not seem the likeliest choice to launch a game-changing digital music service, but it certainly is reaching for the sky with its new cloud-based innovation.
Music Anywhere allows users to access their entire music collection on the go, by “fingerprinting” their tracks and playlists. The songs will then be available wherever there is an internet connection to hook up to.
By taking advantage of cloud technology, which allows consumers access to shared resources on demand, the company is forging ahead of its competitors. Previously your mobile music library has only been as big as your Mp3 player’s capacity – but with Music Anywhere, there are no space constraints whatsoever, making it an appealing prospect for music obsessives.
The service costs £29 per year (or free if you purchase a Samsung Europa smartphone from CW), making it much more affordable than its nearest rival, Spotify. It’s currently only available on iPhones and BlackBerrys, but that’s likely to change in the future.
Music Anywhere launched on Tuesday with modest fanfare, yet it’s already causing a bit of techbuzz among the media.
The Guardian called it a groundbreaking service that has surprised some in the music industry. It reports that the venture has been publically endorsed by the labels and claims the company may also allow users access to films and eBooks in the near future.
The Register however, points out a possible blip on the radar, as it describes an “alarming” item in the service’s terms and conditions: Apparently, if the majority of Mp3s in a collection are pirated, the company reserves the right to terminate a user’s contract.
Catch Media, the company that powers the service acknowledges this clause, but also states that this will only occur in extreme cases, and that it will abide by privacy laws.
The Telegraph shares the same concerns about “snooping”, but concludes with quotes from BPI head Geoff Taylor, who believes that services such as these are “key to digital growth in the sector”.
Meanwhile, Techradar ponders whether Music Anywhere really will blow its rivals out of the water, or if music-lovers will simply just upgrade to a higher capacity phone or mp3 player.
Finally, Music Weeknotes that
“cloud music has become one of the most important concepts in digital music over the past couple of years and has attracted the attention of some of the biggest technology companies in the world”.
There are many unanswered questions about Music Anywhere and its chances of success, but one thing is certain: fans, musicians and record companies alike, will be watching with interest in the coming months to see whether this unique and unexpected service can breath new life into an ailing music industry.