Back in June, fresh Galaxy S III in hand, we attempted to try out some of the connected services supported by the phone, and ran in to nothing but problems. The Music Hub, which we had been interested in taking a closer look at, delivered little more than message that it was currently unavailable in the country. Well, it looks like today is a good day to be an Android music fan in the States, because not only did Spotify just start offering free streaming, but now Samsung has flipped the switch on Music Hub, introducing it alongside a free trial.
Back during our earlier failed attempt to take a look at Music Hub, we noted some ominous references to a “premium” version of the service. Indeed, there’s a basic free component, and a much more full-featured subscription version. The free Music Hub is little more than a storefront. You can listen to short previews of tracks you haven’t yet purchased, or stream full copies from the cloud of those you end up buying through Samsung.
The premium Music Hub is a world of difference. You get unlimited streaming, covering tracks from all four major record labels, as well as iTunes-style “Scan & Match” to move your current music collection to the cloud. For those tracks not directly available through Samsung, users are allocated a healthy 100GB of storage for uploads. Other features include customizable radio stations and discovery tools to help you find new music you might like.
Galaxy S III owners get first access to Music Hub, where users will get a free 30-day trial of the premium version, along with a free album. Those who elect to stick with it will have to pony up $10 a month in the future.
Everything Samsung’s doing with Music Hub sounds fine, but we’re just not sure it’s going to be enticing enough to sign a lot of users on for the paid service. With free streaming from the likes of Spotify, and free cloud storage available through Google Music, would you still pay for the convenience of one integrated music solution?