Mind Like Water

The cloud isn't always better

It's funny how differently I think about the native vs. web debate now that I'm in an area with pretty unreliable internet. I used to listen to Pandora and (occasionally) Spotify, but these days I'm mostly just listening to my offline music collection.

I won't get into the licensing restrictions outside the US (my VPN solves that problem) but basically, any application that requires the internet to work is probably not going to be very useful for me right now.

In general I'd consider myself a pretty strong web advocate... that is
what I do for a living, after all. I was an early adopter of Google
Music, and often used that as my primary means of listening to my music collection back in the US.

However, being forced to use native apps makes me realize that we still haven't figured out how to use the cloud effectively. There needs to be better syncing between local data and data on the cloud.

Just as an example, I recently went through and edited the metadata for a few songs in Google Music (must have been at a hotel with good wifi!) and then realized that my edits don't actually make it back to my local music. That makes me way less excited to use Google Music.

What I would love is to see two way syncing of data and metadata. Say I buy a song on Amazon MP3 (or Google Music for that matter). I should be able to just import that into my online collection, and have it sync offline.

That's closer to how Google Music works on my Android phone... I can selectively sync anything in my music collection. In that case I don't
really want my whole collection available on my phone since I don't have enough space, so the selective syncing is useful.

I'm sure there are legal reasons why something like that couldn't work on my desktop... but that sucks. If I pay for music I should be able to
have it available ubiquitously, and up to date with the best data
available when I make changes.

I think the cutting edge is happening on phones.. but at some point that same line of thought needs to bleed back to the desktop.