Protecting a music library painstakingly built up over the years is one of the most important things to do for any music aficionado. While many plans offer online protection for audiophiles, SugarSync and CrashPlan came out on top of the pack, thanks to their user and media-friendly features. Our three remaining contenders also have unique, music-friendly services to offer, so don’t forget to check them out too.
No one carries around tape decks or CD players anymore, digital music is the rage these days, as it works so seamlessly with smartphones, computers, and tablets. Of course, computers can be finicky, and losing music libraries to an HDD crash or some other unfortunate accident isn’t a new thing.
Which is why we create backups of our music library, preferably a cloud based one, because:
External hard drives
USB flash drives
Can all become corrupted, which is where online backup comes to the rescue, as it can save the essential files of every music lover. Of course finding the right online backup service which has enough space, and few restrictions, can be difficult.
That is why we have compiled a list of the best online backup for music services.
While each song in and of itself usually takes up a tiny amount of space, an entire collection can be massive, requiring gigabytes to store.
Large music collections can quickly fill up mobile devices, requiring either the addition of an SD card (good luck with that if you’ve got an iPhone) or the sacrifice of certain titles to the recycling bin.
Online backup eases the burden of trying to keep music files from taking over your devices. It can also help secure music titles and albums against viruses, hardware failure, bricking or any unforeseen accidents.
In some cases, users want access to the files they love, from wherever they are — online backup is perfect for this kind of wish.
Streaming services such as Spotify take care of the whole “music-on-the-go” thing. However, they’re just not the same as having access to files you have personally collected and carefully cataloged. While not all online backup service providers allow for streaming content, those that do, appeal to music lovers more often.
Normal Streaming Vs Backup Streaming
Speaking of streaming media services such as Spotify, which offer users access to an extensive music library with favorite songs and albums from almost every genre imaginable. The big problem for music lovers is they can never own the titles streamed from Spotify and its ilk.
Even if there’s a service where you can opt for anywhere access, the songs are never truly yours. And audio streaming services usually don’t tend to have obscure artists, less popular songs, or older ones.
Users who wish to grow their personal libraries aren’t going to be satisfied with this method.
Online cloud services can backup music files on a hard drive, and to a cloud server, so you don’t need to worry about ever losing a song, album, or playlist. They’ll be available for re-downloading to a computer or mobile device; but services which offer just plain backup, require the file to be downloaded, making it difficult to enjoy a song or album on the go.
Depending on the environment around, if there’s no Wi-Fi access nearby, your phone or tablet may not be able to download the file. One of the best ideas a real music lover could have is to choose a backup service that allows for media streaming.
You can listen to tunes and podcasts wherever you are, without having to re-download audio files to a computer or mobile device. Anywhere there’s access to the Internet; your data will be there.
How This Article is Setup
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of our article, let’s first be clear about what kind of piece this is, and what we have in store for you. This article is not a review of each service, rather, it’s simply a summary of them, followed by a snippet explaining why we liked it, and a list of pros and cons.
Underneath every summary, there’s the “Read review” button, which we firmly recommend you click on for a full breakdown of the five services, how they work and everything else. With that explanation out of the way, it’s time to dive in.
SugarSync has a variety of storage options to offer music lovers, with plans starting at 100GB and going all the way up to 1TB. Users can store and access files from anywhere, including mobile devices.
SugarSync is a good choice for music aficionados. The service offers unlimited file type backup, so that people with MP3, MP4, OGG, Flac and WAV files don’t have to convert them into other formats before uploading.
As a bonus, SugarSync allows a user access to files from a broad range of internet capable devices. Such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and of course desktop machines.
SugarSync is one of the few backup companies that still supports BlackBerry smartphones, for those select rare ones among us who have them. For on-the-go data access, the easiest method is to use the share feature, located in the online portal.
The Mobile applications also have the share option available, even if it isn’t evident at first. Just select what you wish to distribute and the “Share” button becomes prominent automatically.
Why We Like it
SugarSync makes it easy to enjoy an entire music or media library right from the cloud.
Unlike other providers (which limit the number of devices that can access music files), SugarSync allows an unlimited number to connect and play them right from the cloud.
In short, the cool thing about SugarSync is that it allows users to share files freely with others.
When it comes to storing music files, CrashPlan is a heavy-weight contender. This service offers unlimited storage space with no file type limits; while users can’t stream data from the online portal, they can create an archive of all their favorite artists.
CrashPlan is an unlimited backup service that allows users to store all their music files in one central location. While files cannot be streamed directly from an account, users can create a complete archive of their favorite hits, without the fear of losing anything.
Because physical disks are limited by their size, users have to pick and choose what they want to keep, once storage space starts running low.
Which is where CrashPlan comes into play. Instead of deleting files no longer found on your hard drive, the service retains them indefinitely online. You can go into the account and delete files manually, but CrashPlan will not remove anything, ever, as long as the account is active.
For those who want stricter privacy around their music, Jottacloud is an excellent alternative to US-based backup companies. This service is located in Norway and utilizes Norwegian privacy laws, and allows for unlimited file types to be stored, making it a decent option for music lovers.
Jottacloud is an unlimited storage service that allows users to keep all their music files in an easily accessible cloud account; that’s also free from the NSA’s spying eye. While being able to access data from any computer or mobile device is great, Jottacloud takes it one step further, by giving customers the ability to share music files with family and friends. While the service does offer the protection of superior European privacy laws, it does have some flaws.
Jottacloud requires a user to retain information locally on his or her PC. Should a file be missing for more than 30 days, the duplicate located on their servers is then deleted.
In short, You have 30 days to restore any accidentally deleted files before they’re removed. Which means, when it comes to extensive music archives, you’re going to have to decide what stays and what goes.
Why We Like it
Even though Jottacloud is located in Norway, they accept anyone from around the world.
The service offers superior privacy compared to US-based companies.
With a high level of privacy protection, music files are secure from prying eyes.
Being able to stream those files right from the cloud makes it even better.
Livedrive provides a secure software interface for users to backup their important files, yet unlike many other services on our list, the interface isn’t exactly intuitive. For music lovers, Livedrive offers the ability to not only save and access files on the go, but it can also stream the file directly, without having to download it first.
For those using iOS devices, iTunes files are not required for playback. Nor do users have to convert them to the MP4 format, just for online streaming
Unfortunately, Livedrive does not offer unlimited retention, if a file gets accidentally deleted on your PC, there’s a 30-day time limit before its duplicate gets removed from the company’s servers. Users can add mobile devices to their plan, for no additional fee, simply download the software and sign in to start uploading.
Why We Like it
With Livedrive, there is no need to convert MP3s into MP4s, just to stream them on an Apple device.
Cooler yet, the company has FTP and WebDAV protocols onboard, for users who require that extra support when uploading files.
In short, Livedrive’s features come to life in the Briefcase and Pro Suite plans; the Basic plan kind of sucks — to be honest
pCloud is a service that works well with all the standard operating systems, and yes, that includes Linux too. Music lovers can store their files in the cloud and seamlessly stream them whenever they please.
When it comes to affordability, pCloud has most competitors beat.
Their lowest paid plan starts at only $5 a month; that yields 500GB of backup space, so music lovers can upload their files to the cloud and access them on-the-go wherever they are — for the price of a mocha latte.
There are no file type limits to what pCloud can store, and unlike most other providers, pCloud offers zero-knowledge storage. Meaning, no one, even if they’re the NSA or pCloud’s techs, can access your information. Encryption keys and passwords aren’t stored on pCloud’s servers, and should anyone ever beat the security and break into them; they’ll only find hex code data with no way to decrypt it.
Like all backup services, there are some annoyances users must contend with, let’s start with the 60-day free trial screw up.
Users can’t access their paid-for-storage until the 60-day trial period is over, forcing customers to sit tight for the next two months and work with 20GB of free trial space, or bypass the test period all together and just pay upfront.
Why We Like it
pCloud gives users a space to save all their favorite music files, without having to compromise on space.
People who want to use this service strictly for their music should consider sticking to the free account, which comes with 20GB of storage space; unless your music library is bigger than 20GB.
Unlike other providers, pCloud puts their money where their mouth is.
The service offered a bounty to any hacker who can break into their system within six months.
To date, over 2,800 participants have tried, and no one has claimed the $100,000 prize. pCloud also dumps pre-loaded files into accounts, which act as placeholders.
Cultivating a complete music library can take years, for the true music lover, the cultivation never ceases.There are always more songs to love, more melodies to sooth the savaged soul. When an archive of great sounds is recorded upon physical media, it is surely living off borrowed time.
We recommend using both CrashPlan and SugarSync for their friendly features and ease-of-use.
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Livedrive and pCloud are better options for music streaming aficionados, while Jottacloud should be taken into consideration almost purely because of its freedom from the US Patriot Act. Whatever your decision, don’t forget to:
Read our full in-depth reviews
Test each services’ free plan
Share your experience with us in the comments
And with those three steps in mind, we thank you for reading and bid you adieu, until next time!