Ask Deemable Tech: How Can I Listen To My Music On The Go?
Corey asks, "I have a music collection of thousands of songs on my computer. It’s too big to all fit on my old iPod. What’s the best way for me to take my music with me when I’m in the car or out for a jog?"
Well, Corey, we’re going to go out on a limb and suggest that what you don’t need is yet another device to transfer thousands of MP3s to. The fact is, the days of having your music collection attached to a single, physical device are over. This brings us to one of our favorite topics: the cloud.
Remember, "the cloud" is just a fancy way of saying that you are going to store your MP3s in some location out on the Internet, instead of on your computer or mobile device. This can make accessing your music collection from anywhere really simple. There are several companies that offer free ways to do this, including Amazon, Apple and Google.
We’re big fans of Google’s Google Music service because it’s very easy to use. All you have to do is download a program called Google Music Manager onto the computer you have your music collection stored on. Then the program will start going through your entire collection, song by song, and uploading them to Google’s cloud. Depending on how many MP3s you have this can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days. Once you start it the process is automatic, so you don’t have to sit and wait for it.
Once a song is uploaded you can just point your web browser to play.google.com/music where you can play your music, create new playlists, search for songs and more. On your smartphone, the Google Music app will let you access the same thing. The music is streamed to your phone or computer, so it doesn’t take up any space on them.
Apple’s version of the cloud, called iCloud, works almost the same way. It automatically stores all of the music you have bought through iTunes, as well as all of the TV shows and movies that you bought from them. However, it doesn't store any of the music that you bought outside of iTunes unless you buy their iTunes Match service for $24.99 a year.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the king of the cloud, Amazon.com. Their Amazon Cloud Player service works a lot like the other two, but it also automatically adds any MP3s or CDs you’ve purchased on Amazon to your cloud collection. The service starts at $10 a year for 20 GB of storage.
So, if you have an Android phone, or if you really like the low price of free, check out Google Play Music. If you’ve got an iPhone, an iPad and a Macbook, iCloud is practically made for you. And if you buy a lot of music through Amazon, you should check out their premium Amazon Cloud Player service.
Caution: Be aware that streaming music does use data, so if you have a tight cap on your monthly data plan these cloud services might not be the right place for your music. But if you’ve got a decent data cap you probably don’t need to worry. Getting access to all of your music wherever you are is so convenient, you’ll never go back.