Web users have been frantically uploading their music libraries in recent months with the launches of Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music Beta. Both services are storage lockers where users can upload their music files and then play them via a Web browser across multiple computers or devices, or with an Android app.
However, the wisdom of that approach is being called into question by new data released by Music WithMe, which takes a competing approach to managing a music library on a mobile device. Based on Music WithMe's experience over the past three years in wirelessly syncing iTunes with BlackBerry and Android devices, it did some data crunching on its anonymous user data and determined that the average iTunes user only plays 19% of the music in her library.
That means most users never listen to over 80% of the music in their libraries. Sounds like an awful waste of space in the Google and Amazon clouds.
Music WithMe Co-CEO Jeff Fedor said, "We've been fortunate enough to learn from our users for the past three years about what they want and more importantly how they actually discover, share and sync music. User feedback and data, like the 19% statistic, really drive home how much need there is for good music discovery tools. The search feature that we just launched is one of those tools. It's one way for people to discover music across shared music, their own music, Amazon, iTunes and even YouTube."
Music WithMe lets you sync playlists, artists, and albums over-the-air (Wi-Fi or cellular) from your iTunes library (using a helper app for Mac or Windows) to your Android device. But, the focus isn't on syncing your whole library, just the stuff you want to play right now. The focus is also on social media and social music discovery, letting you easily tweet the song you're playing and listen to the popular songs other users are playing at the moment.
Expect this concept of uploading your music files versus using Web and social music services to heat up on Monday at Apple WWDC 2011, since Apple is expected to launch its streaming music service as an alternative (or compliment) to traditional iTunes.
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.