A comparison of the best cloud music players
Over the past few months I’ve been writing a series of posts about cloud music storage. So far I’ve concentrated on the storage itself, but just storing music isn’t much if you can’t play it!
While the music-oriented storage services generally provide music players, the generic ones don’t. So, if you’re using any-old cloud storage service, how can you listen to your music direct from the cloud? Here are some apps that can do just like that, and save you the bother of syncing the music separately.
Online music libraries
A series of blog posts exploring online music library management.
In this series on cloud music storage we’ve just covered different ways of storing your music. In this article we’ll take a look at ways of playing that music, from the cloud.
Just like a traditional desktop music player will play music from the storage on your computer or in your home music network, cloud music players play music that is stored in the cloud.
As you might have arrived here straight from Google looking for a comparison of the best cloud music players, I’ll cut straight to the chase and give a comparison table (because data’s good!) and then I’ll give a brief description of each player.
|Platform||Web, Android, iOS||Android, iOS||Android||iOS|
|Other storage services||Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, MEGA, self hosted||Box, self hosted||Box, MEGA, Yandex.Disk, self hosted|
|Other playback options||Subsonic playback||✓||✓||✓|
CloudPlayer has been around for a few years, if the maturity that software of-a-certain-age brings is of interest to you. It’s a mobile app, but supports Android only. Like all players here there’s a free version to evaluate.
CloudPlayer ticks most of the most basic feature requirements, covering the major cloud storage providers and the basic casting technologies. Above all other players it backs these up with a sense of polish.
Astiga is an app written by an indie developer. It’s based on the Web, so you can access it anywhere, but works just great on any platform with a web browser, like your smartphone. It has a good community of users
As well as supporting additional music storage services, Astiga has an option to help you upload your music into the cloud, using the pCloud service. Interestingly, the payment model is time based. You can pay per month, quarter or year, with increasing durations offering deeper discounts.
The drawback of Astiga appears to be the playback options. It does offer playback as a Subsonic server, so Subsonic compatible players can play as directed by the app. This is hardly a mainstream option though. I feel Chromecast and AirPlay support would make the app more attractive. I guess this is down to the current web-based nature of the service.
Additionally, there’s no offline mode.
Evermusic is iOS only; there’s no Android or Web based player.
The feature list is impressive with support for many different cloud music storage services, plus local network playback options.
I’m not sure if it’s the slightly suspect “Reviews” on the app’s web page, but I don’t get a very credible feel with this app. That said, the review score of 4.6/5 on the App Store points to a lot of very satisfied users, so I think that’s my own prejudice!
Another mobile app, CloudBeats supports both iOS and Android.
It has an impressive feature set and supports most of the more popular cloud music storage services. It also supports casting, so it’s easy to integrate your cloud music with the Chromecast or AirPlay compliant speakers in your home.
An interesting option is the “Sharing” feature. With this, you can share other cloud music collections, without actually synchronising the files between the cloud storage services.
Any others? Let me know of any I might have missed in the comments!