Best Buy is launching its own cloud music service, dubbed Best Buy Music Cloud, which lets you stream songs online over the Internet to connected PCs, smartphones, tablets and mobile devices. Destined to compete with rivals like Apple iCloud, Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player, it promises to let you store your entire digital music collection online, then wirelessly beam tunes down on-demand.
Download and install the Music Cloud software on your Mac, PC, BlackBerry, iPhone or Android device and upload songs, and you can play them back instantly via wireless streaming, or configure custom playlists. Updates to song collections and playlists synchronize across all devices, so you’ll see the same tracks and virtual mixtapes on every gadget, regardless of whether you access the service via app or Web browser. According to Best Buy, music will also be accessible even while disconnected, letting you listen to individual tracks, or call up playlists or tunes by specific artists while offline. Users can sign up now, with songs catalogued and accessed through iTunes, requiring that you also have access to this software to manage your collection.
As detailed in a recent Best Buy blog post, the service will offer additional features including album artwork, song lyrics and free tracks and promotional content, accessible via desktop or 3G or 4G wireless devices. Music Cloud is being offered in both free Lite and $3.99/month premium Pro plans, with those tuning in via the free version limited to listening to only the first 30 seconds of each song.
An attempt to derail rival cloud music services before they become default solutions for online streaming, tech experts remain torn as to its potential impact. Only time will tell whether Music Cloud offer novel enough features to have listeners whistling a happy tune, or, like countless alternatives, is simply humming the same old song.