mSpot for iPhone: A Cool App I Won’t Be Using

By  |  Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 9:34 am

Smartphones aren’t always big enough to hold an entire music library, so mSpot hopes to ease the burden by storing your tunes in the cloud.

The mSpot service, previously available for Android phones, now has an iPhone app as well. You can store up to 2 GB of music for free to mSpot’s servers, and get another 40 GB of storage for $4 per month.

I have no major complaints with the mSpot app or service. Installation was painless, and you can filter uploads by artist or existing playlists, so it’s easy to create a 2 GB playlist in iTunes specifically for mSpot. The app is simple to navigate, and I like how you can swipe your finger to switch tracks (iTunes really needs something driver-friendly like this). There’s also a web app for playing your library from any PC.

Yet, I think the idea behind mSpot has limited appeal.

The cost of storing a significant amount of music online with mSpot is $6 per month less than a full-blown subscription music service such as MOG, Rhapsody or Rdio. If you’re willing to hop the paywall for a music service, I’m guessing the $10 per month charge for millions of streaming tracks won’t seem insufferable.

But even if you only want to store music you already own, mSpot faces competition from other home streaming apps such as Didiom. True, you’ll need an always-on PC to access songs this way, but it’s cheaper. Didiom Pro, which offers unlimited streaming from Windows PCs, costs, $10 per year.

Then, there’s Apple itself. Subscription-based iTunes rumors have loomed for years, and I’ll believe it when I see it. But if Apple offered an online locker for iTunes libraries, it could in theory upload new purchases to the cloud instantly. A third party such as mSpot will never have that luxury.

One more thing: Smartphone flash drives will inevitably get bigger, reducing the need for cloud music storage in the first place.

The one potential use of mSpot that does appeal to me is the ability to give friends and family access to a chunk of my music library — they’d just need my e-mail and password — but somehow, I don’t think that’s an intended use.

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