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 three of the companies below (Google Play Music All Access, Apple's iTunes Radio, and Amazon's Prime Music).


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 in the Cloud Google Play Music Groove Music + OneDrive Style Jukebox AudioBox MyMusicCloud
Owner:, Inc. Apple Inc. Google Inc. Microsoft Corp. Digital Geek Ltd. iCoreTech, Inc. Triplay Inc.
Launch date: 2011-03-29[8] 2011-10-12 2011-05-10 (beta)[9] 2015-03-18[10] 2012-09-05 2009-12-25 2011-09-01
Web player: Yes No Yes[11] Yes Yes[12] Yes[13] Yes[14]
Windows player: Yes Yes Chrome Yes Yes No Chrome
Android player: Yes[15][16] No Yes[11] Yes Yes Yes Yes
iOS player: Yes[17][18] Yes Yes[19] Yes Yes Yes[20] Yes[21]
Windows Phone player: No No No Yes Yes No Yes
Other listening platforms: Fire TV, Sonos,[22]
Roku,[23][24] Samsung TVs
Apple TV, other AirPlay Android TV, Chromecast, Sonos[25] Xbox One, Xbox 360 Via AirPlay Via AirPlay Samsung TVs, Chromecast
Free space:[a] 250 songs None[26] 50,000 songs[27] 50,000 songs 250 to 3,000 songs[28] None Unlimited uploads. Play limited to 250 songs.[29]
Upload software: Windows, OS X[5] Windows, OS X Windows, OS X, Linux,[30] Web Upload[31] Windows, OS X, Web Upload,
Windows Phone, iOS, Android
Windows, Web Upload[32] Windows, OS X, Linux[33] Windows, OS X
Filetypes uploaded: MP3 and AAC[34] MP3 and AAC MP3 MP3, AAC, WMA MP3, AAC, Ogg, WMA MP3, M4A, M4B, M4R MP3
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 on upload None Transcoded to MP3: M4A, M4B,
3GP, 3GPP, 3GPP2[36]
Maximum file size: 100 MB 200 MB or 2 hours[37] 300 MB[38] 10 GB[39] 30 MB free / 1 GB paid No limit No limit
Premium service name: Cloud Player Premium[40][41] iTunes Match[42] scan-and-match[43][d] None Style Jukebox Premium AudioBox Cloud MyMusicCloud Unlimited
Premium service features: Match/import up to 250,000 songs Match/import up to 25,000 songs[e] Matching included in basic features[44] N/A Upload 25,000 songs, 10 devices,
FLAC/M4A/ALAC support
Storage space (varies) Unlimited sync and play,
10 devices, ad free service
Premium annual cost: $24.99 (US), £21.99 (UK) $24.99 (US), £21.99 (UK),
€24.99 (FR), $39.99 (AU)
None N/A $24.99 $59.88 (most popular plan: 50 GB) $39.99 (US), £29.99 (UK), €39.99 (EU)
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 No matching feature
Result for matched song: 256 kbit/s VBR MP3[45] 256 kbit/s AAC[42] 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] 58[51][52] 22 Worldwide Worldwide Worldwide
  1. ^ Purchased songs 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. ^ Google's scan-and-match is part of the basic service.
  5. ^ 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 shutdown on May 31, 2010.
  • mSpot Music started in May 2010,[55] was purchased by Samsung,[56] and shutdown on October 15, 2012.
  • Best Buy Music Cloud debuted in June 2011 to horrible 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 shutdown 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. ^ Xbox Music can now play music stored in OneDrive, The Verge, 2015-03-18
  11. ^ a b System requirements and country availability, Google Play Help
  12. ^ Style Jukebox's iOS and Web apps play your hi-def music library from the cloud, The Next Web
  13. ^ Cloud-Music Player AudioBox Reboots With Support For DropBox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Box, Others, TechCrunch
  14. ^ MyMusicCloud revamps and bumps up users to unlimited plan free for 1 year, Geektime
  15. ^ Using Amazon Cloud Player for Android, Amazon Help
  16. ^ Amazon Music for Android,
  17. ^ Amazon Cloud Player for iOS hands-on: the war for your music heats up, The Verge, 12 June 2012
  18. ^ Amazon Music for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch,
  19. ^ Google Play Music arrives for iOS, CNET,November 15 2013
  20. ^ Cloud-Music Player AudioBox Lands On iPhone, TechCrunch, 4 February 2013
  21. ^ [1], MyMusicCloud for iPhone
  22. ^ Register Your Sonos Device with Amazon Music, Amazon Help
  23. ^ Amazon Cloud Player coming soon to Roku, 31 July 2012, Roku Blog
  24. ^ Amazon Cloud Player on Roku, Help
  25. ^ Play. Amplified. Introducing Google Play and Sonos
  26. ^ iCloud storage plan overview,
  27. ^ About Music on Google Play,
  28. ^ [2]
  29. ^
  30. ^ Install the Google Play Music Manager, Google Play Help
  31. ^ Google Play Music finally lets you upload songs through the browser, The Verge
  32. ^ Style Jukebox’s iOS and Web apps play your hi-def music library from the cloud, The Next Web
  33. ^ AudioBox Downloads
  34. ^ a b About Importer File Formats, Amazon Help
  35. ^ a b Google Play Music supported file types, Google Play Help
  36. ^ MyMusicCloud Help: How to Import Your Music
  37. ^ iTunes Store: Subscribing to iTunes Match,
  38. ^ Storage limits, Google Play Help
  39. ^ OneDrive's file size limit upped to 10GB, syncing speeds tripled, PC World, Sep 11, 2014
  40. ^ Updated Amazon Cloud Player Includes New Scan and Match Technology, Free Audio Quality Upgrades, and More, press release
  41. ^ Amazon Updates Cloud Player: Scan & Match Imports, 256 Kbps Audio Upgrades, Premium Accounts, TechCrunch
  42. ^ a b c iTunes Match,
  43. ^ Google Music to launch free scan-and-match next month, CNET News, October 29, 2012
  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 Technia, 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,