Companies dueling it out to win the dollars of consumers are similar to little kids on a playground vying for a vacant swing, or a place on the monkey bars.Â Usually there is one playground king, or sometimes bully, that gets first dibs on all of the cool playground attractions.
But after watching from the sidelines, there's always one kid who is brave enough to face down the playground king and compete for dominance. Well, Apple is the playground king when it comes to offering downloadable music, and Samsung is the once uncertain kid that is now completely certain that it's ready to go to battle.
Samsung has just began a service that lets users purchase songs onto their Galaxy S III smartphone. The new service has been rolled out to 28 countries in Europe and will be released to other parts of the globe in the near future. The service called "Music Hub" houses 19 million songs from a cloud-based catalog, and users can also stream music on to their devices for a monthly fee, if they choose not to purchase individual songs.
Following in the digital footsteps of Apple's iPod device and iTunes music store, users do not need an internet connection to listen to songs, unlike Sony Corp., which also released a music service in order to win over some of iTune's loyalists.
Samsung recently partnered with mSpot, a mobile content provider to provide a wide musical catalogue for today's music listener, who typically isn't loyal to only one genre or brand of music.
"When you ask yourself, 'what do I want to listen to?' there is now one simple answer, for every mood, every place and everyone," explained TJ Kang, Senior Vice President of Samsung Electronics' Media Solution Center. "With the new Music Hub, we're bringing the joy back to music -- listening, collecting and sharing."
Customers can either download a free version of the Music Hub, or purchase a premiumÂ version in Europe for Â£9.99 (about $15), where users have access to an unlimited amount of streams for a fixed amount.
In June 2011, it was reported there were 1 billion iTunes customers, which seems like a huge consumer hill to climb for Samsung.Â But as previously reported by ConsumerAffairs, Samsung has been making its way up the mobile device ladder, by beating out the Amazon Kindle for the number two spot in first quarter device sales.
With Apple still holding the number one spot, Samsung's Music Hub could be all the leverage it needs to really make a run for the top tier position and finally get its turn on the swing-set.
Here are the included features of Samsung's Music Hub:
Scan & Match Cloud Locker:Â Upload your music to the cloud so you can play it anywhere. Music Hub utilizes scan & match technology to decrease upload time and ensure high-quality playback. Any unmatched songs are directly uploaded from your library so you can access rare or personal recordings (100 GB of storage for all unmatched songs). When you edit playlists or purchase music, your collection stays automatically updated across all authorized devices
Radio:Â Listen to the music you like with personal radio and programmed stations. Create personal stations based on songs and artists you love, or browse genre stations recommended and tailor-crafted by the Music Hub team. Hear a song you like? Tag it so you can find it later and play it again whenever you want.
Optimized for Mobile:Â Music Hub is optimized specifically for the Samsung device. Advanced streaming and downloading options let you save storage space, play music when offline, and cut down on cellular data usage. Audio settings are designed to prolong battery life and ensure smooth streaming even under spotty network coverage.
Web Player:Â In addition to the mobile app, users can access their music library and the Music Hub catalog/store online atÂ www.musichub.com. The Web Player allows users the freedom to play their music easily on any PC.