Comparison of online music lockers

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This is a comparison of online music storage services (Cloud Music Services), Internet services that allow uploads of personally owned or licensed music to the cloud for listening on multiple devices.[1]

There are currently three large services—Amazon Music, Apple's iTunes Match, and Google Play Music[2]—each incorporating an online music store (see comparison), with purchased songs from the associated music store not counting toward storage limits. Other than additional storage space, the main additional feature provided with an annual fee by and Apple is "scan-and-match", which examines music files on a computer and adds a copy of matched tracks to the user's music locker without having to upload the files. Google provides both a large amount of storage space and the scan-and-match feature at no cost.

Amazon was the first of the currently significant players to launch their cloud music locker service in late March 2011. Amazon Music launched without obtaining any new music streaming licenses, which upset the major record labels.[3] Google launched their service less than a month and a half later, also without obtaining any new licenses.[4] Apple negotiated with the major record labels for a new license before launching their service six months after Google's. Amazon and Google eventually negotiated licenses before launching their scan-and-match features.

For streaming services where a person is unable to upload their own music, but is limited to music provided by the service, such as Pandora Radio and Spotify, see Comparison of on-demand streaming music services. See that article also for information on subscription streaming services provided by four of the companies below (Google Play Music All Access, Apple's Apple Music, Amazon's Prime Music, and Microsoft's Groove Music Pass).


Major differences between the services are Google offering scan-and-match and a large amount of storage as no-cost features, whereas others usually offer limited or no storage space for free and scan and match only with an annual fee. For users with extremely large libraries, Amazon offers the most storage space for a reasonable annual fee.

Amazon does not allow podcasts, ringtones, or audiobooks to be uploaded.[5][6] Apple does not allow audiobooks or podcasts to be uploaded.[7]

Amazon Music iTunes Match Google Play Music Loop Music Cloud Storage + Vox (software) Groove Music + OneDrive Style Jukebox iBroadcast
Owner:, Inc. Apple Inc. Google Inc. Coppertino Inc. Microsoft Corp. Digital Geek Ltd.
Launch date: 2011-03-29[8] 2011-10-12 2011-05-10 (beta)[9] 2015-04-15 [10] 2015-03-18[11] 2012-09-05
Web player: Yes No Yes[12] No Yes Yes[13] Yes
Windows player: Yes Yes Chrome No Yes Yes Any Browser
Android player: Yes[14][15] Yes Yes[12] No Yes Yes Yes
iOS player: Yes[16][17] Yes Yes[18] Yes[19] Yes Yes Yes
Windows Phone player: No No No No Yes Yes Not Sure
Other listening platforms: Fire TV, Sonos,[20]
Roku,[21][22] Samsung TVs, Amazon Echo and Dot
Apple TV, other AirPlay Android TV, Apple TV, other AirPlay, Chromecast, Sonos[23] macOS, Apple TV via AirPlay, Chromecast, Sonos[24] Xbox One, Xbox 360 Via AirPlay, Qualcomm AllPlay,[25] Chromecast
Free space:[a] 250 files None[26] 50,000 files[27] Unlimited Uploads & Playback (2 weeks trial period) 5 GB 10 GB 30 days trial[28] Unlimited Uploads & Playback
Upload software: Windows, OS X[5] Windows, OS X Windows, OS X, Linux,[29] Web Upload[30] Web Upload, VOX Player for Mac Windows, OS X, Web Upload,
Windows Phone, iOS, Android
Windows, OS X,[31] Web Upload and Automatic
Import from Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive[32][33]
Any Browser, Windows
Filetypes transcoded: None Transcoded to 256 kbit/s AAC:
Transcoded to 320 kbit/s MP3:
AAC, ALAC, FLAC,[b] WMA,[c] Ogg[35]
None None None on upload
Maximum file size: 100 MB 200 MB or 2 hours[36] 300 MB[37] No limit 10 GB[38] 1 GB
Premium service name: Cloud Player Premium[39][40] iTunes Match[41] None storage related Loop Music Cloud Storage Additional OneDrive storage Style Jukebox Pro[42] Entirely Free (Premium Features TBA)
Premium service features: Match/import up to 250,000 files Match/import up to 100,000 files[d][43] Matching included in basic features[44] Unlimited Storage and Playback N/A Upload 2 TB of music
24bit/192kHz High-Resolution Audio Playback
Premium annual cost: $24.99 (US), £21.99 (UK) $24.99 (US), £21.99 (UK),
€24.99 (FR), $39.99 (AU)
None $15.99 (per month), $131.88 (per year) N/A $4.99 for 10 GB, $29.99 for 100 GB, $99.99 for 1 TB TBA
Matchable file types: MP3, AAC, AIFF, ALAC,
WAV, FLAC, Ogg, WMA[34]
MP3, AAC, ALAC, FLAC, Ogg, WMA[35] No matching feature No matching feature No matching feature
Result for matched song: 256 kbit/s VBR MP3[45] 256 kbit/s AAC[41] 320 kbit/s CBR MP3[46][47] No matching feature No matching feature No matching feature No matching feature
Premium service countries: US, UK,[48] DE, FR[49] 117[50] 63[51][52] Worldwide 22 Worldwide
  1. ^ Purchased music files from associated music store do not count toward space limits.
  2. ^ Google Play Music transcoding of FLAC to MP3 only supported with 16 and 24-bit stereo or mono FLAC.
  3. ^ Google Play Music only supports WMA transcoding on Windows with Music Manager.
  4. ^ In the United States and Australia, iTunes Match also gets you ad-free iTunes Radio listening.

Former or defunct services[edit]

  • started in January 2000, fought major record labels in UMG v., and the service was discontinued by a new owner.[53]
  • MP3tunes started in late 2005, fought major record labels in Capitol Records, Inc. v. MP3Tunes, LLC, and closed in 2012 after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.[54]
  • Lala started in 2006, was purchased by Apple, and shut down on May 31, 2010.
  • mSpot Music started in May 2010,[55] was purchased by Samsung,[56] and shut down on October 15, 2012.
  • Best Buy Music Cloud debuted in June 2011 to unfavourable reviews.[57]
  • Mougg started in 2010, renamed to Mashup in 2012,[58][59] the domain ceased to function in December 2012. In April 2013, the service returned to its original name.
  • Ubuntu One only included music features (web and mobile app playback, 20 GB storage) with the paid plan. The service was shut down on 1 June 2014.[60]
  • Samsung Music Hub is only available for a few Samsung devices.[61] Samsung Music Hub was retired on 1 July 2014.[62]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cloud Music Comparison: What’s the Best Service for Streaming Your Library Everywhere?, Lifehacker, 15 June 2011
  2. ^ Google Music, iTunes Match, and Amazon Cloud Drive: Digital Music Services Comparison, PC World, 17 November 2011
  3. ^ Amazon faces backlash over "music locker" service, Reuters, Phil Wahba and Paul Thomasch, Mar 29, 2011
  4. ^ Unlicensed: Are Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player illegal?, Ars Technica, July 4, 2011
  5. ^ a b Importing Music into Cloud Player, Amazon Help
  6. ^ Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player take on iTunes Match. Who wins?, Ars Technica, January 17, 2013
  7. ^ Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes Match
  8. ^ Amazon launches Cloud Player music locker service, Los Angeles Times, 2011-03-29
  9. ^ Google Launches 'Music Beta,' a Streaming Cloud Service for Tunes, Wired News, 2011-05-10
  10. ^ Coppertino Launches New LOOP Music Locker, MacRumors, 2015-04-15
  11. ^ Xbox Music can now play music stored in OneDrive, The Verge, 2015-03-18
  12. ^ a b System requirements and country availability, Google Play Help
  13. ^ Style Jukebox's iOS and Web apps play your hi-def music library from the cloud, The Next Web
  14. ^ Using Amazon Cloud Player for Android, Amazon Help
  15. ^ Amazon Music for Android,
  16. ^ Amazon Cloud Player for iOS hands-on: the war for your music heats up, The Verge, 12 June 2012
  17. ^ Amazon Music for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch,
  18. ^ Google Play Music arrives for iOS, CNET,November 15, 2013
  19. ^ Vox Plays Any Music File on iOS, Streams Music from a New Music Locker, CNET,April 15, 2015
  20. ^ Register Your Sonos Device with Amazon Music, Amazon Help
  21. ^ Amazon Cloud Player coming soon to Roku, 31 July 2012, Roku Blog
  22. ^ Amazon Cloud Player on Roku, Help
  23. ^ Play. Amplified. Introducing Google Play and Sonos
  24. ^ Play Lossless with Sonos via VOX
  25. ^ "Qualcomm Expands AllPlay Smart Media Platform Reach, Working with Hardware and Service Companies to Launch New AllPlay-powered Devices and Support from Additional Streaming Audio Services | Qualcomm". Qualcomm. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  26. ^ iCloud storage plan overview,
  27. ^ About Music on Google Play,
  28. ^ [1]
  29. ^ Install the Google Play Music Manager, Google Play Help
  30. ^ Google Play Music finally lets you upload songs through the browser, The Verge
  31. ^ Install Style Jukebox Manager for Mac
  32. ^ Style Jukebox’s iOS and Web apps play your hi-def music library from the cloud, The Next Web
  33. ^ Introducing Style Jukebox Pro, Medium
  34. ^ a b About Importer File Formats, Amazon Help
  35. ^ a b Google Play Music supported file types, Google Play Help
  36. ^ iTunes Store: Subscribing to iTunes Match,
  37. ^ Storage limits, Google Play Help
  38. ^ OneDrive's file size limit upped to 10GB, syncing speeds tripled, PC World, Sep 11, 2014
  39. ^ Updated Amazon Cloud Player Includes New Scan and Match Technology, Free Audio Quality Upgrades, and More, press release
  40. ^ Amazon Updates Cloud Player: Scan & Match Imports, 256 Kbps Audio Upgrades, Premium Accounts, TechCrunch
  41. ^ a b c iTunes Match,
  42. ^ "Style Jukebox Plans". Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  43. ^ Apple support page showing 100,000 track limit
  44. ^ Google Music's Free Scan and Match Feature Comes to the U.S.
  45. ^ About Matched Music,
  46. ^ Google Play Music enables scan and match in Europe ahead of US launch, The Verge
  47. ^ Matching feature on the Google Play Music Manager, Google Play Help
  48. ^ Amazon announces cloud player in the UK, The Telegraph
  49. ^ Amazon Cloud Player launches in the UK, France and Germany, Music Alley, September 18th, 2012
  50. ^ iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match Availability, Apple Support
  51. ^ Our new music matching feature gets your songs into your online music library on Google Play much faster. We’ll scan your collection and quickly rebuild it in the cloud - all for free., Google Play on Google+, 18 Dec 2012
  52. ^ Country availability for apps & digital content
  53. ^ Amazon AutoRip: How the labels held back progress for 14 years, Ars Technica, January 11, 2013
  54. ^ Music labels force pioneering MP3tunes into bankruptcy, Ars Technica, May 14, 2012
  55. ^ mSpot New Music Cloud Service, May 19, 2010
  56. ^ Samsung boosts its mobile ecosystem with mSpot purchase, GigaOM, May 9, 2012
  57. ^ Best Buy's Music Cloud: Skip It, For Now,, June 22, 2011
  58. ^ Review: Download Music From the Cloud, Rolling Stone, 7 December 2010
  59. ^ Mougg: Another great option for streaming your music library, The Next Web, 29 November 2010
  60. ^ Shutting down Ubuntu One file services, Cononical blog, 2 April 2014
  61. ^ mSpot Music is closing on October 15, 2012, mSpot blog, 9/19/2012
  62. ^ Samsung to retire Music Hub streaming service,