Like many of you, I have a large selection of music and podcasts that has been purchased/downloaded over the years – running into 30GB. I used to sync with my iPod using the cable and lot of patience until I got a message that all of my music doesn’t fit anymore on my iPod. Over time, Android phone, Blackberry, iPhone and iPad have been added to our family’s collection of PCs and Macs.
With my music spread amongst two computers and limited available storage capacity of my mobile devices, I decided to look for alternatives and here is what I found when I evaluated the following:
- Syncing my Music to the SD card/internal memory of the phone
- Radios like Pandora
- Monthly Music services like MOG and Spotify
- Streaming my own music using services like Jam11
Syncing my Music to the SD card/internal memory of the phone
Apple offers an ability to sync iPhone and iPad with iTunes and many third party alternatives exist on Android and Blackberry phones to sync your library on iTunes as well. If your music library is any larger than 5GB (1,000 songs), Syncing is a bad alternative as there is never enough space left on these devices after leaving room for apps, pictures, videos and other data. Yes you can pay $99 extra for each 8GB of storage on Apple’s iPod and iPhone or buy a larger SD card but it is unlikely that you can sync all of your music library on it for ever.
Radios like Pandora & Slacker
Internet Radios like Pandora and Slacker are great alternatives and offer a great selection. It is a great way to discover new music. However, if you are in a mood to listen to your Beatles album, Pandora will offer one of the songs from Beatles and then offer you similar songs due to Radio licensing restrictions. There are other Internet radios like SHOUTcast wherein I found a large selection of music, news and talkshows.
Monthly Music Services
There are many alternatives like MOG, Spotify and Rhapsody and cost between $5 to $10/month. The selection varies but I couldn’t find majority of the music that I like in most of these services. Also, I do have problem in paying to listen to the music I already own and hence these choices are not for me.
Streaming my Own Music using services like Jam11
With ubiquitous 3G/Wifi data connectivity, it is now easy to stream all of your music off your computer. Yes it needs your computer to be on but with streaming services like Jam11, I can now listen to my music anywhere from any phone. I can search for my music on my Android or Blackberry phone and listen instantly and make sure I don’t buy yet another song I already own. You can download Jam11 from Android Market or Blackberry App World and give it a try.
In conclusion, there is no one solution for everyone. I settled on using Jam11, have some local music on my SD card and listen to SHOUTcast radios on my Jam11 application. Let me know if you are still not syncing the old fashioned way and buying more iPods.