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mSpot vs. MP3tunesIt's a battle between first-time-contender music-streaming services. Which service will be music to our ears? We'll find out in the Prizefight ring.
What's up, Prize Fight fans? I'm Brian Tong and we have a battle for bragging rights between two streaming music services that are available now. It's a full-down showdown between mSpot and MP3tunes. Our judges for this fight, our senior editor Donald "Saved by the" Bell, senior associate editor Jasmine "Knock 'Em in the Pants" France, and you-know-who, Ring-A-Ling-A-Ding Tom. We'll take all three judges' blind scores and average them out to the nearest 10 each round. The final Prize Fight score will be an average of all rounds within the same decimal system. These contenders are first-gen streaming services and new to the game so let's get it on. Round one is Design and Interface. I'm a sucker for clean looking things and mSpot fits that description. Their web browser player is clearly inspired by iTunes but it's familiar and easy to use. Donald's a fan and sure, it could look a little sexier, but Jasmine was turned off by its simplicity. Their software upload tool is also really straightforward. MP3tunes is described by Donald as a Bento box and I like Bento boxes. Jasmine likes the inclusion of album art and its sorting. There's no doubt MP3tunes' functionality is superior to mSpot's, but I had trouble with the web player consistently loading. Their software upload tool is also a little crude and needs to be cleaned up. mSpot strikes first with a 3.3 and MP3tunes gets a 2.7. Round two is Features. mSpot keeps it clean and simple for you and it's pretty much limited to streaming music and creating playlists. It's only Android friendly at the moment, but downloading your tracks from the Cloud and saving them locally to your phone is sweet. Now, MP3tunes is strong when it comes to features. You'll be able to stream music and create playlists and download songs from the Cloud locally to your phone as well but its integration with Amazon's MP3 store on Android phones allows you to send your downloaded tracks to the Cloud storage and multiple devices can then access the new music. MP3tunes throws a punch right back with a 3.7 and mSpot gets a 2.7. So, after averaging two rounds, MP3tunes leads by two-tenths of a point. Next round is Compatibility. Both services are Mac and Windows compatible through a browser and they support formats like MP3, AAC, and WMV, but no DRM files. Saying mSpot is limited is really being nice because you can only access your music from a computer or single Android phones running 2.1 or higher. There's no iPhone or iPod compatibility here at all. MP3tunes includes audio support for OGG and video uploads but its device compatibility is stellar for a first-gen product. There is support for iPhone and iPods, Android phones, other mobile phones, game consoles, Roku, TiVo, and more. All the judges agree and MP3tunes takes this round with a 4 and mSpot gets a 2.3. Next round is sound quality. mSpot's sound quality was pretty much on par with what you'll hear from Pandora. Donald felt mSpot's player had a little more substance and clarity on the low end and the volume slider helped to pump up the jam. MP3tunes was about the same for me. Donald felt it lacked the low end that mSpot had and we all experienced hiccups or issues playing songs with both players at times from our computers and the phone interfaces. Streaming audio quality still has a ways to go but we're calling this round even and both services get 3s. So, after averaging four rounds, MP3tunes has increased its lead to six-tenths of a point but this thing ain't over, the final round that decides it all is Value. Both services offer you 2 gigs of storage for free and that's a nice chunk of storage to start off with. mSpot offers a tiered plan that starts at $4.99 a month for 20 gigs of storage but it's not $9.99 plan for 50 gigs isn't gonna cut it when you could advantage of a subscription service like Rhapsody's at that price. Now, MP3tunes does not offer a tiered plan, but for $4.95 a month, you'll get 50 gigs of storage for music and movies so it's a better value, but this market has plenty of room to mature and we're all sure the pricing models will eventually change. MP3tunes gets a 3.7 and mSpot gets a 2.7. So let's average out all five rounds and in a Prize Fight where mSpot jumped out on top in the first round, MP3tunes took care of business the rest of the way and takes this music streaming melee 3.4 to 2.8 and is your Prize Fight winner. Both of these services are free and, I repeat, free, but they're also a peek into the future of how we will listen to music so make sure you check them out because you might really enjoy the simplicity of mSpot or lean towards MP3tunes' robust features. I'm Brian Tong, thanks for watching, and we'll catch you guys next time for another Prize Fight.