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.
Samsung Mobile Launches Music Hub in U.S. on Galaxy S III with a Free 30-Day Trial
3-in-1 mobile music solution lets you upload your music collection to the cloud, stream and purchase songs from an extensive catalog, and listen to personal radio
DALLAS (July 31, 2012) — Samsung Music Hub – the first completely integrated, all-in-one mobile music service – is now available in the U.S. on the Galaxy S® III. Music Hub simplifies and enhances the everyday experience of listening to music. The mobile music service provides a rich music experience for everyone whether users are an avid collector wanting easy access to their own music collection, someone with ever-changing music tastes, that likes to sample a broad selection of music and genres or who prefers radio.
A free 30-day trial of the service will be extended to new Music Hub users in the U.S. New subscribers also will be able to choose a free album that will be instantly available on their Galaxy S III and can also be uploaded to their personal music collections on the internet.
“We’re redefining mobile music by offering a more integrated experience on the handset and lifting the barriers to your music. Our service encompasses all music including your own collection in the cloud, a robust streaming catalog that is seamlessly integrated with a music store, and a personal radio service that caters to all of your music moods and genres,” said TJ Kang, senior vice president of the media services team for Samsung. “By providing a free album and trial, we hope Galaxy S III owners will experience for themselves a new, intuitive and easy way to discover music.”
Based on the technology services of mSpot, a leading mobile content service provider recently acquired by Samsung, the new Music Hub service will initially be available on Samsung Galaxy S III devices sold through leading U.S. carriers. Galaxy S III users can access the application directly on select handsets and via the Samsung App Store or Google Play. More information on accessing Music Hub on select handsets can be found at: http://www.samsung.com/us/article/music-hub-all-the-music-you-want-all-in-one-place. This pairing with the Galaxy S III is ideal as the overall Music Hub experience has been optimized and specifically designed for mobile devices. Advanced streaming and downloading options let users save storage space, play music when offline, and cut down on mobile data usage. Audio settings are designed to prolong battery life and ensure smooth streaming even under spotty network coverage.
The Music Hub service will be offered as both a free and premium version.
Music Hub Store (free) allows users to:
- Access millions of songs from the 7digital catalog – which includes music from all four major labels (Sony, EMI, Universal, and Warner), plus select independents– from which users can buy tracks and albums, as well as listen to 30-second previews of all songs
- Store purchased music in the cloud, allowing it to automatically load on all registered Music Hub devices, while still being available on those registered devices locally for offline listening
- Use the Music Hub web player, in addition to the mobile app, with which users can access their music library and the Music Hub catalog/store online at www.musichub.com
Music Hub Premium ($9.99 per month, with a free 30-day trial offered) offers access to all of the free version features, as well as:
- A Scan & Match Cloud Locker: Upload music to the cloud to play it on any device registered with a Music Hub account. Music Hub also utilizes scan-and-match technology to decrease upload time and ensure high-quality playback. Any unmatched songs are directly uploaded from user’s library to the cloud offering 100 GB of storage for all unmatched songs, so users can access rare or personal recordings across their devices. Music Hub also automatically updates playlists or music purchases music updated across all registered devices.
- A catalog of millions of songs for purchase AND streaming: Enjoy full access to 7digital’s entire Music Hub catalog, including music from all four major labels, to stream or purchase, with unlimited plays and no advertisements. Search for new music, create playlists, share songs with friends, and view lyrics and album information.
- Personalized and Custom Radio: Create personal stations based on favorite songs and artists, or browse genre stations recommended and custom-created by the Music Hub team. Users also can tag songs they like to find and play back later.
- Customized Recommendations: Discover great new songs, artists, albums and radio stations all the time – and the more users listen, the better Music Hub’s recommendations will get.
Samsung, Music Hub, Galaxy and Galaxy S are all trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
About Samsung Telecommunications America
Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, (Samsung Mobile) a Dallas-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., researches, develops and markets wireless handsets, wireless infrastructure and other telecommunications products throughout North America. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.
mSpot is a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., which was formed in 2004 and acquired by Samsung in 2012. A provider of innovative music and video delivery service for mobile devices, the company has been offering white-labeled cloud entertainment services for mobile carriers such as AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. It also has its own brand services available in the Android Marketplace or App Store. For more information, go to www.mspotcorporate.com
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2011 consolidated sales of US$143.1 billion. Employing approximately 206,000 people in 197 offices across 72 countries, the company operates two separate organizations to coordinate its nine independent business units: Digital Media & Communications, comprising Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, and Digital Imaging; and Device Solutions, consisting of Memory, System LSI and LED. Recognized for its industry-leading performance across a range of economic, environmental and social criteria, Samsung Electronics was named the world’s most sustainable technology company in the 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.
About 7digital Limited
7digital is a leading digital content technology company based in London. Through 7digital’s download store (http://www.7digital.com ) and mobile applications, consumers can access over 19 million legal high quality music tracks, as well as audiobooks and videos, at competitive prices across Europe, North America and beyond. Combining 7digital’s secure and robust technology platform with the broadest agreements in the digital media industry, the company provides comprehensive digital download and streaming services to a wide range of partners and brands around the world. 7digital’s enterprise level Application Programming Interface (API) is used by 300 partners globally, including Samsung’s Music Hub.