Samsung today announced that its new Music Hub service, previously only available in the UK, is now available in the United States. But only on the Galaxy S III, and only on two carriers. That'll change, as the service expands, but for now, it's not all that widespread.
We've been using Music Hub for a couple weeks now. In a nutshell, it's an expanded and improved -- though more complicated -- version of Google Music, combining locally stored songs, songs uploaded to Samsung's MSpot cloud storage and streamed back to the phone, and the 7digital online music catalog.
For now, it's only available on AT&T and US Cellular's Galaxy S3. Music Hub will be announced later for Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
There are a couple versions of Music Hub available. First is the free Music Hub Store, which gives you access to 7digital's library for purchase, along with 30-second previews of songs. Any music you purchase is automatically uploaded to the Music Hub cloud, as well as remaining on your phone locally for offline playback.
Then there's Music Hub Premium. It costs $9.99 a month, but you get a free 30-day trial. With the premium version, you can upload up to 100 gigabytes of music to your Music Hub account. Music Hub scans your directories for any music already in its system. If it finds a match, it'll simply stream the songs, saving upload time and space. Along with that, you get personalized and customized Internet radio, and music recommendations.
Other features include a EQ, a number of storage and streaming settings, and the ability to change the quality of the audio to better suit your data speeds.
In our testing, Music Hub worked pretty well. Samsung's streaming and uploading services (you install an app on your Mac or PC just like you do Google Music) work as advertised.
The 100GB of cloud storage is five times greater than what Google currently offers, though Google's giving you that 20GB for free. The question at this point is whether you're ready to invest in yet another music service, both in the time it takes to set up, and with the $120 a year it'll cost. At the very least, though, the 30-day trial is worth a look.
We've got loads more info and screen shots after the break, so let's hit it.