Who is the King of Free Cloud Storage for Music?

With there being so many cloud providers out there, how do you know which is the best for you?  Here is a quick comparison that might help you choose.

Provider

Free Storage

Promotions

CloudAround Supported

* 5GB 50GB for life on certain devices Yes
* 2GB (up to 18GB on referrals) Referrals and Product based incentives with HTC, Samsung, Sony, LG and more

Yes

* 5GB None, but cheap storage after the free tier

Upcoming

* 5GB (referrals up to 32GB) Impressive referral bonuses

Upcoming

* 7GB Opt-in legacy users have 25GB

Alpha-Ready

* 5GB None, but solid intergation with iTunes

No

* 2GB (up to 10GB referral) Educational Discounts

No

* 0GB ($0.10/GB storage + transfer rates) None

Yes

* 5GB (with limited number of requests) None

Yes

 

 

So Which Cloud is Right for You?

This is a tough quest for several reasons.  Let’s face it, most users are going to want free storage with no bandwidth restrictions and unlimited data storage.

Price
The cloud computing industry is transforming closer to this as it evolves over the next few years, but we aren’t there yet.  We have noticed some of our users are creating their own networks of clouds by signing up for several free cloud accounts, such as one at Box one at Dropbox, and then have all of their local phone storage as well.  If these users were to max out the free capabilities of Box and Dropbox at the time of this post(50GB Android promotion on Box/25GB promotion on Galaxy S3), they would have access to 75GB of remote storage and potentially 16GB of storage on their new S3.  That’s a lot of storage for music on a phone, considering smart phone storage could have been measured in megabytes just a few years ago.

Many users want a true pay-as-you go model, if they are only interested in accessing their data remotely for quick bursts.  Clouds like like Amazon S3 or Rackspace Cloud Files would suit these users.  Keep in mind, Dropbox is essentially a SaaS on top of Amazon S3.

Speed
We have not heard any issues of streaming speeds from our users, so we tending to think they are all about within the threshold of acceptance for our users and ourselves.  We have taken benchmarks of the times it takes for large accounts to sync remotely from the cloud to the users’ device, but most of the time the results vary based on the time of day the sync occurs.  We have done quite a lot of optimizations to insure music is delivered to the device as soon as possible.

On the flip side of this topic, different clouds do have different upload speeds.  We have not done comparisons, but there are plenty of them out there on the internet.  When we have uploaded music files for testing on clouds, it’s typically in lots of several gigabytes.  There are so many factors to consider when measuring this amount of data that the time is better spent on just making our product better for our users.  For purposes of music, one song upload will not be a drastic difference.

Ease of Use
Most of our users love free and easy.  Dropbox has hit the nail on the head in the free tier of cloud storage.  They offer up to 18GB of free storage and provide desktop sync for free as a service.  They have loads of sharing and collaboration capabilities and plenty of 3rd parties have built apps that work with Dropbox to make it even easier to use.  Box provides the most free storage but they do not yet offer a free syncing service.  SpiderOak is another which is very similar to Dropbox and does offer a great deal of options, including a Windows/Mac/Linux desktop sync.  This is quite rare amongst the crowd of clouds, since Dropbox is really the only contender on that front.  On top of that, they offer quite a secure data encryption process with their storage and are very transparent about how it works.  All providers will allow a UI from the web that allows file uploads and API’s for the tech saavy, but this is nothing special and is almost a requirement for a cloud storage provider to survive in the market today.

From CloudAround’s perspective, we want to make the sync process as easy as possible for all clouds.  This means that we do not want you pressing more then 2 or 3 buttons, adding in some text and letting the sync to just work for you.  If any of our users feel we have failed them, we encourage them to email us at feedback@cloudaround.com and we will make it happen.

Conclusion
There is no clear winner in personal remote music storage, but you do have options.  It will depend on what operating system you typically use, how you are used to uploading your music, how much you want to pay, and how much you care what other people think.  For us at CloudAround, free rules the ring.  We do not have a clear winner, but we will wait to see what the cloud giants will evolve with next.  Let us know what you think on Twitter @CloudAroundApp and try CloudAround today with or without ads.

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