Amazon Cloud Player vs. Google Music vs. iTunes Match

Recently I was looking at the cloud based music storage services offered by Google, Apple, and Amazon. They all have cloud based music storage offerings finally. Google’s offering is free, but limited to 20,000 songs. Apple Match is $24.99 a year, but allows you to store 25,000 songs (unlimited songs that are purchased through the iTunes store) and, of course, it works seamlessly with iTunes.  And Amazon’s offer is also $24.99 a year but allows you to store up to an incredible 250,000 songs!

Google Music

  • First, it’s free!
  • 20,000 songs, which should be plenty for 95% of the people out there
  • Google has an app that automatically scans your iTunes and matches what is already on Google Match and then uploads what isn’t already there
  • On the Mac and PC you can download music from Google Match to your device
  • Google also brings over playlists and ratings
  • And of course Google has made it easy to share music via Google +
  • Songs purchased in Google Play are automatically uploaded to the cloud
  • Google has an app for Android, but there isn’t an app for iOS (iPhone or iPads) devices (but you can access it from Safari and use the “add to home screen” option)

Apple iTunes Match

  • $24.99 a year
  • 25,000 songs (unlimited songs that are purchased through the iTunes store)
  • Allows you to download songs to your device
  • Match only uploads the songs that iTunes can’t match to what Apple already has in the cloud.  Much faster then uploading your entire library.
  • Seamless with iTunes
  • Matched songs are upgraded to 256 kbps AAC DRM free

Amazon Cloud Player

  • 250 songs are free, or
  • 250,000 songs for $24.99 per year (10x more than the other offers)
  • US only right now
  • Amazon provides an export app that uploads MP3 songs and albums to the Amazon Cloud Player
  • The songs that Amazon can match are upgraded to 256 kbps, even those purchased in the past
  • MP3’s bought on Amazon are automatically uploaded to the Amazon Cloud Player and don’t count towards the limit
  • And now Amazon offers AutoRip – when you buy CDs with the AutoRip designation from Amazon they immediately give you MP3s automatically in the Amazon Cloud Player for no extra cost. You can start listening right away, you don’t have to wait for the CD to arrive and rip it yourself.
  • Amazon Cloud Player works everywhere!  As they say “on the web, Kindle Fire, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android devices, Sonos, and Roku”

So I was thinking through how to decide which to go with and a couple of thoughts came to me:

  • If you have an Android smart phone and have less then 20,000 songs in your library then it’s a no brainer, go with Google Music! And did I mention it’s free!
  • If you have an iPhone and use a Mac (and use iTunes) and have less then 25,000 songs in your library then again, it’s kind of a no brainer to go with iTunes Match.
  • But, if you have more then 25,000 songs and live in the US, then you have to look at Amazon Cloud Player

I personally ended up going with Amazon Cloud Player for the capacity. Also, I rarely buy music from iTunes, it’s normally the most expensive. And Google Music isn’t even a thought when I am looking to buy an album.  Amazon has a huge library and runs specials and discounts all the time. The other selling point was I can get to my music from all my devices.