updated 09:45 am EDT, Mon June 28, 2010
mSpot puts music in the cloud for PCs, phones
After a private beta, mSpot today launched its cloud-based music service. The subscription service lets users sync music from iTunes and folders with an online locker that they can then stream from other computers and phones. Changes to one are automatically pushed to the other.
Macs and Windows PCs are available at first, as is a mobile app for Android 2.1 devices. The Android version can automatically detect network quality and will cache songs locally so it can play tracks offline. It also has its own live home screen wallpaper as well as support for lyrics and creating ringtones; mSpot hasn't said if versions will be available for BlackBerry, iPhone or other platforms, though some of these may lose their features.
Pricing depends only on the amount of storage needed: mSpot is completely free for up to 2GB of music but costs $3 per month for 10GB of space, $5 for 20GB and 100GB for $14.
The rollout gives mSpot a first-mover advantage over Apple and Google; a web-based iTunes has been rumored as a possibility but delayed, and Google Music has similarly been set back. In either case, claims have surfaced that they may need to negotiate separate licenses to get streaming rights, which mSpot hasn't negotiated at all. It's unclear if mSpot has the authority to offer streaming without licenses, but it may be counting on the same legal defense that protected CableVision's network DVRs; the cable provider was allowed to put shows on remote storage as it took reasonable steps to prevent piracy.