For some reason, I had never heard of Qloud until getting a release yesterday about it celebrating the registering of more than a million users via its Facebook application, which launched three months ago. The service hooks up with your iTunes library and scraps together any versions of the songs it can find hosted online, while taking advantage of your iTunes XML file to include such niceties as play counts and the last time you listened a song.
It manages to do this with a (Windows only) plug-in that installs itself on whatever machine your iTunes library resides in. It will periodically keep tabs on your iTunes XML file, which is the one that has all your track names and metadata for playlist organization, play counts, and song data. It then cross references this list with any legally hosted versions of the songs online, and will play them with an embedded player right in the app.
The company says that after installing the plug-in, it takes 15 to 20 minutes for your library to appear. My 50GB library managed to make it in about 12 minutes, and to my surprise, a great deal of it made the cut from metadata to music--although nearly every song was a video from YouTube.
What was apparent from the get-go with this app is that it's not quite a replacement for some of the other music-streaming services out there, like Orb, MediaMaster (coverage), and Simplify Media (coverage). Many of the fairly popular bands I had in my library had music videos with decent audio, but the majority were live recordings from concerts made by fans. This translates to bad video, and even worse audio. Audiophiles will not be pleased, nor will those who enjoy a particular version of a song that's on their library, be it live or an alternate studio recording.… Read more