MSpot, a service that specializes on providing a storage locker for a user’s music and movie files, is entering the personalized streaming audio fray by offering up access to streaming music stations by a Pandora-esque algorithm that matches songs that listeners are playing to streaming radio stations that they’ll love. The company has also had a streaming radio service since 2005, providing white-label services for carriers like AT&T.
The update to mSpot Music, “Radio Spotter Beta,” is a free web and Android app. It will allow the company to provide a competition Pandora, Slacker, Jango and others.
Users can still upload 5 gigabytes of music to the service for free and can also pay $3.99 per month for 40 gigabytes of storage space. New paid tiers will be added in the coming days. mSpot is competing against services like Amazon’s Cloud Player, which also offers 5 Gbytes of storage for free (and a total of 20 Gbytes with the purchase of an MP3 album) and Google’s Music Beta, which will store about 20,000 songs for free. MP3Tunes and ZumoDrive offer 2-Gbytes of storage for free, and MP3Tunes is offering invitations for 10 Gbytes; SugarSync also offers 5 Gbytes for free, plus paid plans, reports PCMag.
“We are focused on bringing users more of a great listening experience, such as complete lyrics, prefetching the next song on the playlist. With the introduction of radio, this is where we’re headed,” said Daren Tsui, mSpot CEO.
The addition of radio brings up four options: suggested stations, mSpot’s in-house radio, Internet radio, and Personal Radio. Both the mSpot Radio and Internet Radio choices are similar. For the former, mSpot created 80 to 85 commercial-free stations, using in-house DJs; choices range from “The 10 Spot feat. Lady Gaga” and “College Battle of the Bands” to the standard channels devoted to different flavors of Latin, jazz, dance, and alternative. Overseas influences are represented by Bollywood, French, and Canadian channels.
The Internet Radio choices all appear to be “powered by mSpot,” and they also run the gamut of different genre choices. PCMag says don’t expect to find your local radio station here in a streaming format, at least not yet.
Personal Radio is accessed either by tapping the icon itself, or else tapping the “radio” icon above a song in the user’s library. Either method launches an algorithm-driven personal radio, either generated by the songs a user has actually listened to, or by the specific song and artist.
RBR-TVBR observation: This is a great music discovery search idea that will shine the light on many internet radio streamers (and hopefully terrestrial radio streamers down the road) that previously might be unknown to mSpot users. Another good thing for mSpot: by sending users to other music streaming sites, it doesn’t have to pay royalty fees for the listens!