3 August sees the launch of Carphone Warehouse's own music streaming service, Music Anywhere, and to celebrate, the phone retailer staged an intimate gig with The Hoosiers in its Oxford Street, London store.
The band played a few of its best known tracks, such as Worried About Ray and new single Choices, to a crowd of fans and interested passers-by, while quipping that customers could "ask them about handsets" afterwards. They also hung around afterwards to sign autographs and chat with members of the public.
Music Anywhere, the service being launched, is essentially Carphone Warehouse's version of Spotify or We7, and is powered by Catch Media's Play Anywhere technology.
Using an app downloaded on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, or through the company's My Hub portal on a Mac or PC, subscribers can stream tracks through Wi-Fi or via a 3G network wherever they like. And, similar to the aforementioned services, the music is stored "in the Cloud" and played on request.
It can also access your iTunes collection stored on a remote computer. However, instead of plucking the songs through your home network, the software uses algorithms, much like those adopted by Shazam, to assess each track from its internal data, and plays the version stored on the Music Anywhere servers instead. Same result, different source.
This method essentially allows you to listen to a rebuilt version of your own library anywhere in the world.
The app can also buffer tracks as you listen to them streamed over Wi-Fi (or 3G) so you can then play them again when there's no connection, as designated by a little pin icon on the track. And while other services also offer this functionality, the Music Anywhere app will automatically download the 500 most popular tracks for offline playback.
The service is currently only available to Carphone Warehouse My Hub subscribers, and costs £29.99 per year all-in. The mobile phone retailer is planning on offering deals with certain phones and contracts - one involves the Samsung Galaxy Europa, for instance, which comes with Music Anywhere preloaded. Check in store for any further deals.
How about you? Would you be happy to stream all of your music from the Cloud, rather than store it at home? Or do you prefer the tangible nature and audio quality of CDs or, even, vinyl? And, are you worried about Ray? Let us know in the contents below...