Ok, So have been using itunes for quite a while but having upgraded to a new laptop last week I thought I might look at the alternatives before loading itunes up again.
I have an older ipod nano which I love and an ipad 1 which I also use to listen and occasionally download music to from itunes, but I always found itunes slow and problematic on the older laptop. I'm keen to here what other folks use, especially if they have been itunes users and found a better experience with something else.
I use [url=http://www.apple.com/uk/itunes/itunes-match/]iTunes Match[/url] these days, so I don't really hold my music library on a computer anymore. I haven't bought a new CD in years, so no more ripping happens, most new stuff is either bought via iPad or downloaded via laptop and copied into iTunes that way so Match can pick it up
Thats pretty cool! Though I'm not sure I want to pay apple 22 quid per year to store music I've already bought and have (at the moment anyway) plenty of storage space for.
Do you find it uses much of your internet download capacity? I must look into it a bit more.
Also I was interested in seeing what other people use other than apple/itunes.
For what its worth, Google Music seems pretty good. It offers you the opportunity to upload all of your iTunes library, or from other sources (eg Windows Media)and to automatically update this on a regular basis. I'd still prefer to physically buy a CD though since I prefer to have control over what I do with it, but Amazon have recently announced that they'll provide a free digital copy of the most popular CDs when you buy one from them. I think I'll then forward these to Google Music automatically. Apple just seem to really want to screw every last penny out of people, which is why I'm trying to avoid lining their pockets any more than I need to.
I too use iTunes Match, which I think is pretty good value for the convenience - but to open this up slightly, I think the future of mass music consumption is definitely heading towards streaming services such as Spotify i.e. any music anytime. We're not there yet, in terms of mobile interent coverage and speeds, but I think the idea of music ownership will fade dramtically over time. I haven't made up my mind if this is good or bad. I think as long as the artist is fairly compensated, which they're not currently, I'd be happy enough.
I think you're probably right Flash. But as my ipod nano is probably due an upgrade soon and i've just upgrade the laptop, i'm wondering should i stick with apple/itunes or should i buy a differnt mp3 player and go to a different service?
Match really earns its annual upkeep if you have and use multiple devices for music. The renewal just came up for me at Christmas and I didn't hesitate to renew as it's been so useful.
I've a fair array of music-listening use cases - via laptop in work, via my phone when out and about, via the Apple TV when lounging in the living room, via iPad when doing chores, cooking, whatever. iTunes Match means my entire library (even though it's far larger than the capacity of most of those devices) is available in all those cases.
I have BT infinity at home, so in bandwidth terms it doesn't even make a dent there, but even on 3G from my phone it doesn't have any problems (until I walk out of the 3G area, but then all internet stuff stops anyway).