The Carphone Warehouse has today launched an online music streaming service to compete with the likes of Spotify.
However, it operates in a very different way. The service called, Music Anywhere, works by installing an application to your computer that scans your entire music collection, and then matches it to the Music Anywhere database. It will then stream it to back to your desktop, laptop, or smartphone over the internet from the Music Anywhere servers, enabling you to access your own music from wherever you are.
The My Hub application is free and is already available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry platforms.
The service cost £29.99 for an annual fee, which makes it a good value proposition against Spotify, which costs £9.99 a month for the Premium service and won’t work in every country around the world.
Tom Guy, group head of digital services, at The Carphone Warehouse said: “We all have a cherished music collection that brings together our favourite mix of songs. The new Music Anywhere service lets you listen to this wherever you are, through any computer or by downloading the mobile App. In just a few minutes you can have thousands of tracks available from home, at work, on the train or in the car!”
Carphone Warehouse has confirmed that the service will recognise and stream all music, even if it has been pirated, but states in a FAQ that, “In extreme cases where it becomes apparent that most of a person’s music collection has been fact pirated, Music Anywhere reserves the right to terminate the service.”
However, all major labels are on board, as even if some tracks are pirated, they will receive royalties for those tracks being played back by the user.
Tracks that can’t be matched to the Music Anywhere database will be stored in a ‘Digital Locker’ and can be accessed that way.
The Carphone Warehouse said that over 6 million tracks have been licensed, so unless it’s original content, there’s a good chance it will be recognised.
While the service will eat into your data plan, smart caching means that up to 500 songs will be stored on your device, so that after the first playback they won’t have to be streamed again.
Of course if your music is stored at high bit-rate, it’s likely to be lower quality when streamed via Music Anywhere, but conversely, if you have low bit-rate files, they might well be streamed at higher quality.
Are you tempted by the Music Anywhere service? Do you think it’s a better option than Spotify or Napster? Let us know in the comments.