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iTunes vs. Spotify and Facebook Music

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By: Spacelab Research Staff
October 23, 2011

By now you've heard about Facebook Music and iTunes in the cloud (or iCloud), so what's the difference between the two?

iTunes in the Cloud and iCloud: What it Is
It was determined just before the iPhone 4S release date via an email slip that let it fly that "Once iCloud is set up, it stores your content and wirelessly pushes it to all your devices. For example, buy a song with iTunes on your computer, and it will appear on your iPod touch and iPad."

So iCloud is an in-the-cloud storage of music, photos and documents for Apple devices like iPad, iPhone or your computer (any kind, Apple or PC). It does this via a process called scan and match, meaning that Apple doesn't upload your songs that already exist in the iTunes library that lives in the cloud. With a library of 20 million songs available from Apple, most of your library is already in the cloud, and any songs that aren't in the cloud will be uploaded for you.

iCloud comes with 5GB of free storage, and iCloud pricing options are 10GB for $20/year, 20GB for $40/year and 50GB for $100/year for additional layers of service.

It should be stressed that the only streaming music available to you through iCloud and iTunes is the music you already own and music you purchase, a key difference between the iCloud experience and the streaming music services involved in Facebook Music.

Then you can listen via iTunes to streaming music from the cloud through an Internet connection, or a group of files that have been downloaded to your computer or portable device. There's a seamless media experience between these devices, so you're never stuck with music or video on a different device than the one you're using. It just works, as the saying goes.

Facebook Music: What It Is
Although Spotify is the lead music partner for Facebook Music, it includes the streaming music services Spotify, MOG, Rdio, Rhapsody alongside  internet radio player sites like Deezer, Slacker Radio, iHeartRadio, Earbits, Mixcloud, Songza and AudioVroom. The idea here isn't to create a Facebook Music player or app, but rather that everbody has a favorite streaming music service, and allowing the shared experience as a connective tissue" lets everyone use their preferred service while also comparing all of the services. Facebook Music launched back in September as part of the f8 Conference.

What it really comes down to is what you want out of your music experience: mobility of your iTunes library between your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and computer with ease; or the ability to share your listening habits with friends via broadcasting what you're listening to and sharing music with friends via the streaming music services above. One lets you share with your other devices and the other lets you share music with friends.

Check out more about steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide. Check out more news about music apps and streaming music on the Digital Music News page.

Tags: iTunes, Spotify, Facebook Music
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