Reviews

mSpot: An Evolution of Music Portability

July 22, 2010 | by Jorge Parrales

Android App Reviews, Android Apps, Multimedia, Reviews

mSpot_01

Though it seems the options for media players/streaming music applications in the Android Market are plentiful these days, you would be remiss if you didn’t give mSpot a chance to become your music player of choice on your 2.x Android device, especially when on the go.

The concept is simple. With mSpot, you can store your music online and listen to it anywhere with your Android device. If you download the application from the Market first, it will ask for your email address and then email you a link that you should visit from your computer. From there, you will download the mSpot music uploader and register with the service. Once you have downloaded the software, you are automatically routed to their web-based application, where you can let the app scan your entire media collection or also select individual folders to upload. The moment your music begins uploading into the cloud, you can log on to the Android application and start playing your music.

It is important to note that, at this moment, mSpot does not stream your music collection to your Android. Instead, it downloads the music files to your phone so that you can play them even when you do not have network access. In the application settings, you can designate a certain amount of storage space on your sd card that can be used by mSpot for your music library. Right now, customers are allotted 2GB of free storage in the cloud, which equates to roughly 1500 songs. However, for people who want to keep their storage space for things other than their music media, the mSpot website does indicate an upcoming update that will allow users to stream their music collection instead of downloading it to their phone.

The app UI is very easy to use, and it syncs quite easily with the web-based application. Four tabs appear at the top of the screen, labeled Playlist, Album, Artists and Songs. Any playlists that were already on your computer’s music library should also be uploaded to the cloud, but you can also easily create new playlists at any time. Playback is in par with the standard UI for most players, showing the album art cover and a play/pause and skip buttons. One nifty feature is that you can select the “L” at the top-right corner of the album art to get the lyrics to the song that is currently being played, if those lyrics are available.

You can also visit mSpot.com from any other computer in the world and play your music collection at any time. This kind of portability seems to be the next evolution in music players, so we will probably see these kinds of features from Apple and Google in the near future. But mSpot has done a remarkable job in being the first to offer this kind of product, and if/until Google ever gets involved in the media player game, Apple will obviously never offer anything to Android users. While there is no mind-blowing “wow” factor from mSpot, what you do get is a very dependable music service with an added level of portability. If you have Android 2.0+ on your device, I would definitely recommend giving mSpot a chance.

Key Features

  • Free cloud storage up to 2GB for your music
  • Play your music collection from anywhere, even without network access
  • Straightforward UI and great lyrics integration
  • Uploader works for Windows or Mac
  • Supports several DRM-free formats, including MP3, MP4, AAC, AAC+, WMA and WAV

Cons

  • Limited storage space means you have to pay for increased storage if your music collection is larger than 2GB, or otherwise manually select which songs are stored in the cloud
  • Sound quality for many songs might be intolerably bad after uploading to the cloud and then downloading to device

App: mSpot

Price: Free

Website: http://www.mspot.com