Love it or hate it, all of your digital information is moving to the cloud. And your music is no different. While music social network Imeem has let you upload your own music to its servers for a while, today it’s offering a powerful new feature: access to that music from a mobile device, thanks to its Android application.
The feature, called MyMusic, will let you stream your music over the Internet to your phone from anywhere you may be. Mark my words: This is the future of music on your phone — and really, all music on-the-go eventually.
One of the most annoying things about a recent trip to see my parents in Florida was that I didn’t bring my computer with all my music on it, so I was stuck with the few gigabytes I had on my iPhone. Sure, that’s a lot of music to be “stuck” with, but I have something just south of 100 gigabytes at home that I couldn’t get to. Yes, there are ways to do this, setting up your own server for example, or using a cloud storage service, but at the end of the day, if accessing your own music while on-the-go is going to take off in the mainstream, the solution has to be simple.
And Imeem’s MyMusic is simple: you upload your music, open your Android phone, open the Imeem app, and there’s your music. A few clicks and you can find and play any of it. In fact, it makes so much sense, that it should be no surprise that there are rumors of Apple working on such a cloud-based system for iTunes.
Imeem’s offers both free and paid options for this service depending on your needs. You can upload up to 100 songs for free, or if you pay $9.99 a year will get you 100 songs plus access to the service’s VIP music player (on its website), $29.99 will get you 1,000 songs and $99.99 will get you 20,000 songs. Most people never upload more than the 100 free songs, the company tells me — though that may change with this new feature.
The goal behind MyMusic on Android is two-fold. First, it wants to take the mobile phone music experience to the cloud, as Imeem’s chief marketing officer Steve Jang recently shared with me. But also, it views MyMusic as a way to expand its service usage as a whole. The company offers you access to practically all the music out there (thanks to deals with the major record labels) on both its web app and its Android app. But aside from the usual advertising model, Imeem makes money from affiliate sales of music tracks as well. On its Android app, you can buy a song through Amazon with just a few clicks. And you’re obviously more likely to do that if you’re in the app listening to other music — which you’re probably more likely to do if you have your own music with you.
Imeem Mobile also has a couple of other new features, including “favorite stations,” which are streaming music stations you can customize based on your favorite artists or songs. And it has a new “share with a friend” feature, which lets you email any song to your friend while you’re listening to it.
One of the best parts of Imeem’s Android app is that you can do something like email a song even while the music is still playing, because Android lets you run applications in the background, while the iPhone does not.
Imeem’s Android app won the “Best Mobile App” award at this year’s Crunchies, which VentureBeat was a partner in. Oddly, the company doesn’t yet have an iPhone app despite that platform’s huge success and the success online music services like Pandora are seeing with their iPhone app (the number one downloaded app last year). But Jang assures me an iPhone app is in the works; Imeem just wants to get it perfect. It’s looking at the other mobile platforms as well.
But for right now, the Android app is doing fine. It’s installed on roughly 30 percent of the G1 Android phones out there, Jang tells me. That’s pretty incredible. Something tells me they’re going to be selling a lot of those VIP passes so people can put their a good chunk of their music in Imeem’s cloud.
The San Francisco-based Imeem has raised $50 million in funding from firms including Sequoia Capital, Morgenthaler Ventures and DAG Ventures. It competes with different online music services like Pandora and Last.fm to varying degrees, and recently, more directly with MySpace Music.