Consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung has launched its new Music Hub mobile music service for the Galaxy S III Android smartphone in the UK, Germany, France and Spain, with the US to follow. Currently downloadable as a free app for the cell phone, the cloud service lets users store or buy music online, and stream 19 million songs to their handset on-demand for a monthly fee.
In addition to paying for access to the service’s catalogue, subscribers can also upload their digital music collection to the cloud and beam it down on command. Proprietary "scan and match" technology will auto-detect songs which exist in the service’s library however, and save users the trouble of transferring these files. Besides artist recommendation and discovery features, a Music Hub Store is further being offered, which allows songs and albums to be purchased, accessed from a range of gadgets, and stored locally for offline listening.
Determined to expand its reach beyond the Galaxy S III, Samsung says that support for additional platforms such as Android mobile devices and smart TVs will potentially be forthcoming. Currently, users can also access and playback tunes on computers via the Web at musichub.com. Features include the ability to search for songs, share tracks and enjoy lyrics and album info, with back-end technology provided by recent Samsung acquisition mSpot. While myriad vendors including Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon offer similar solutions that serve as online storage lockers, storefronts and jukeboxes, Samsung’s presence across a spectrum of high-tech devices may prove an advantage.
A direct competitor to Apple’s iCloud, Muve Music and other popular mobile and online radio and streaming solutions, and with integration across devices likely to happen incrementally, overnight success may prove elusive, however. As of press time, a specific release date and pricing for the US has yet to be announced.