This post will definitely not be a “which is better” post, because it 100% depends on what your music situation. They both can be just as decent depending on how you have your music library setup.
Cloud computing has dramatically changed the way we think about using consumer products. Now, the cloud has been around for a long time, but the term didn’t really gain a lot of popularity until the last several years when companies really started embracing it.
Companies have brought us a new option for storing music by taking advantage of the cloud. Google, Amazon, and Apple now offer music storage services on their own services, and as long as you have an internet connection you should be able to access your music.
Not all cloud music services are created equal however. Apple charges 25 dollars a year for their music storage solution, but they claim one feature that Amazon and Google currently do not (as far as I know). Apple’s match service allows a user to upload their iTunes library to Apple’s servers. They will scan each song, and if they have that song in their library, they will provide you with a 256kb version over the version that you have. If they don’t have that song in their system, then they will upload your copy.
Google and Amazon offer 5gb of free music storage and they will upload all of your music, providing they are DRM free. I’m assuming if you bought music from their stores than they might be an exception.
I have my music, mostly, on all three services. Yes I paid Apple to store my music, but I’m also an iPhone user and have a MacBook Pro, plus a PC and thought it would come in handy. I only used Amazon’s music service so that I could access my music from my Kindle. It seemed to work fine. I wasn’t able to find a Google made music app for iPhone, but a third party app seemed to work alright as well. When I had my Droid X, there was a really decent Google Music app made by Google that I used frequently. A plus to Google Music is the fact that it has a web interface, so you can access your music from any computer that has an internet browser. There were times when the music would cut out on the website and just stop playing, but I wasn’t sure if that was Google Music or something on my system.
Apple’s iTunes match has no web interface, and requires you have iTunes or an iOS device to access your music in the cloud. It was really nice to use on my Macbook since I had installed a 128gb SSD and really didn’t want to use up all of the space with my music library. I could just stream the music from the internet via iTunes.
If you don’t have an iTunes library, have no desire to ever have one, will never have an iPhone, iPod, or iPad… skip this section, it probably will never apply to you.
Now if you do have an iTunes library, syncing with the latest iOS is really nice. You can use iTunes match and never sync and just choose what songs you want to play and stream them, but personally I like having my library on the local device. (My iTunes library really isn’t that big so I can afford to use my iPhone’s storage). With iOS, iTunes can be synced either via wireless or via usb cable. There are some settings in iTunes but its simple.
Syncing with Android is possible, but when I first attempted it, it didn’t work very well. That could have been because of my Droid X, I’m really not sure. Android users need to install a program on the computer with their iTunes library called DoubleTwist, and install the app on their phone. Also for like 5 dollars you can sync wirelessly. This application will sync your iTunes drm free songs with your Android device.
If you don’t have iTunes but still want to store music locally, you can. It’s as simple as copying and pasting to your phone. I won’t go in to too much detail as there are probably 1000 ways to do it.
If you have an iTunes library, then iOS… if you don’t have an iTunes library then Android, unless you take the cloud storage option. It all really depends on your situation, and neither is really better than the other in this case. No matter what, if you want music stored locally on your iOS device, you must have iTunes, while on Android there really is no application requirement.