Monday, January 16, 2012

Cloud Music

This one was painful.

I'm an audiophile and spent many years as a sound engineer.  I'm very picky about how my music sounds.  If I could use a spectrum analyzer for every room I set up shop in, I would.

Not very practical.

Neither are the cloud storage/player combinations I tried.  The players are lacking in features (especially equalizer options) and playback quality is poor at best.  There are equalizers you can run that control all of the sound coming from your device (one called "Equalizer" and another called "Equalizer" on the Android market and, no, that's not a typo) but they're lukewarm at best and it's clumsy trying to run a second app just to get close to the EQ you're looking for. 

Some of the players had constant jitter and skipping even when I wasn't streaming from the cloud.  I'm trying not to name names here (cough, cough, amazon, cough, google, cough) but it was pretty sad.  I was all but sitting on top of my router when streaming and I have plenty of bandwidth so that wasn't the issue.  The issue persisted even when I wasn't streaming on the Amazon player.

I'm a PowerAmp user and have been since I started using Android devices.  The features are robust and it comes with a 10 band EQ built in.  I have to download from my Amazon cloud drive and set PowerAmp up to scan those folders, so while it's not the most elegant solution, it works.  That's the best I could come up with, a hybrid cloud and locally run app.

I think music in the cloud for serious audiophiles is not quite there yet, but as soon as Amazon (or others) expose their API to allow third party development, I think we will see big leaps forward in this area.  I really wanted this to be successful, but I'm sorry to say, it was less than savory.

If anyone has heard of a serious solution for this (no, it's not iCloud) please let me know.

No comments:

Post a Comment