When Amazon release its Cloud Player, I immediately tried to subscribe, I had an issue because amazon insisted I was outside the US, but once I signed in, everything seemed to work as fine as it would. At first, I uploaded the 5GB limit, it took a while and the process was a little unseemly. Starting the upload and restarting it when the connection broke or my machine had to restarted for some reason, was a pain. It is worth remarking here that I am using a laptop for this, a laptop that I move about. Then I bought an album, the latest by R.E.M. I think, and I got 20GB for free. Restarted that process was hell on slow wheels. I decided that my problem was that everytime I had to restart the process I had to select which music I needed to upload, since my 40GB of music didn't fit in 20GB. So, I paid some 30$ for the rest and started uploading all my music. After that painful process was finished, I found the service work well on computers, Ok on Android phones (currently my Galaxy Tab and my LG Optimus One), and not at all in my iPod touch. It started sort of working later on, but it is still not as useful as I need.
Even asking an invite for Google Music Beta required me to use a VPN so that they interpret my IP to be in the US and allow me to see it (my login/password and its associated address seem to be worthless to everyone, except Apple). I thought, as usual with Google, I would get an invite last, but to my surprised last week I got an invite. At first I was impressed, the upload process seem less traumatic than with amazon, it restarted on its own and seem to be slightly faster. Still it was painfully slow and more pain was going to come. The Android player only works in phones they interpreted to be US, they have not heard of worldwide phones or changing SIMs. So my only option was my semi broken Nexus One. I didn't budge. I didn't get to be where I am for believing everything I read. The music player is easily available in the Web and, thank good, you can install any app in an Android phone, the biggest and only advantage of Android over iOS. The player is better than Amazon's, except for the difficulty of playing a several songs, it seems to interpret to play one song on a list to play only that song. Oh, well... The final disappointment was that the upload process has so far reported almost 1500 songs, I don't see a way to retry uploading those songs, all of them claim to have been an interruption in service. It seems the software just keeps trying the next song even if there is no connection. I am still trying to finish uploading to see if they try to upload the failed songs again. The player works great in computers, well in Android phones, and not at all in iOS devices.
So, is Apple iCloud the answer? Doubt it... It is not an streaming service. What I want is my music everywhere I am. Not only in my Computer or iPod touch. If I could do that I would only need Apple to sell cheaper unlocked iPhones for me to consider the jump backwards. yes, Music Match sounds great and I will probably try it out, but until there is a streaming option, iCloud is not a solution for me. Of course, any streaming option will be computer and iOS, not a chance Apple will make an Android client. As readers of this site know, I am (was and avid user of the Zune service until my phone broke a month ago. I expect to get the replacement (refurbished... really, T-Mobile this week. I would have hoped for Microsoft to get the right service for music. But they are in the same boat as Apple, except much, much smaller. If they could get Zune plus streaming plus cloud everywhere they would have a chance. But Microsoft is either too big or too dumb to do this... Let alone, do it fast, before they are left even further behind.