There’s a trend toward subscription streaming music services as opposed to purchasing MP3s and syncing to your phone. Google Play is actually promoting its subscription service as freeing you from “the hassle of syncing.”
There’s a certain logic to that. Everyone has wifi at home and LTE on the go, so it works. Spotify, rdio, Google, and others get new albums pretty much right away. You don’t have to download anything. You pay a nominal monthly fee to unfettered access to the whole of these music databases. It’s pure convenience.
I think Google’s campaign against syncing is pretty smart, actually. I recently overheard a conversation about this very issue. The two were discussing downloading versus streaming. They hated the idea of having to actually download an MP3 that would take up space on their hard drives and mobile devices.
Plus, most people use multiple devices — I have a media center PC, a laptop, an Android tablet, and an Android phone that I use to listen to music on a regular basis. That’s a lot of syncing. That’s a lot of libraries to organize. Subscription services essentially take the hassle out of handling your digital music library.
That being said, I’m not entirely sold on the idea. I know I’m sort of going against the trend right now, but I like having an MP3 that I know is mine and I know won’t go anywhere. Sure, it takes up space on my devices, and it takes time to keep everything synced and organized, but I know that this is my library and it’s not going to go anywhere. If I subscribe to Spotify and their licensing deal with a label suddenly changes, my music could disappear. If I own the MP3, that doesn’t affect me.
I’m sort of like the guy who was still buying CDs when the rest of the world moved to iTunes. But hey, good luck listening to your music when you drive into a non-LTE area or your company has a licensing dispute with a record label.