It’s rain­ing songs

The joy of dis­cov­er­ing mu­sic can be ex­pe­ri­enced once again with Wowloud, the first cloud mu­sic ser­vice in Malaysia.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIVING - By MICHAEL CHEANG en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

IMAG­INE a cloud in the vir­tual sky, filled with over a mil­lion songs, ready to rain down into your PC and smart phone via the In­ter­net ... all for free. That’s what Wowloud, Malaysia’s (and pos­si­bly Asia’s) first cloud mu­sic ser­vice, prom­ises to do. Well, metaphor­i­cally, of course.

All you have to do to ac­quire the ser­vice is log onto the web­site (wowloud.com), down­load the 37.7MB soft­ware, in­stall it on your PC, and voila! You can now lis­ten to over a mil­lion songs with­out hav­ing to worry about hard disk space or down­load­ing time. And best of all, you can bring your favourite playlists along with you any­where you go (as long as you have an In­ter­net con­nec­tion, of course), and you don’t even have to pay a sin­gle cent!

Ac­cord­ing to Chung Jaan Hao, CEO of MNC Wire­less Ber­had, a mo­bile and In­ter­net me­dia com­pany that de­vel­oped Wowloud, the idea for Wowloud came about when he re­alised one day that he spent more time lis­ten­ing to mu­sic on his PC and smart phone than on his hi-fi stereo at home. “I spend so much time on the go these days that I have no time to lis­ten to mu­sic on my stereo. I have stacks of CDs at home, but I don’t have the time to go through them and look for mu­sic to lis­ten to!” he said. “In fact, these days, I tend to lis­ten to mu­sic only when I am at my PC, or on the phone.”

The ser­vice is cur­rently only avail­able for the PC, but an app for smart phones will also be re­leased soon.

Be­sides be­ing the first cloud mu­sic ser­vice in Malaysia, Wowloud is also the first com­pany in the re­gion to have signed li­cens­ing agree­ments with all four ma­jor record la­bels in Malaysia, in­clud­ing Uni­ver­sal Mu­sic, Warner Mu­sic, Sony Mu­sic En­ter­tain­ment and One Stop Mu­sic. This gives them ac­cess to more than a mil­lion songs from a myr­iad of gen­res, in­clud­ing main­stream pop, rock, hiphop, dance, classical, chil­dren’s mu­sic, K-pop, Canto-pop, and even Bol­ly­wood tunes.

“We are still in the midst of build­ing the li­brary, but we aim to have more than one mil­lion songs by the end of Novem­ber,” said Chung. “That’s al­most seven years of non­stop, no re­peats mu­sic!”

All that mu­sic at your fin­ger­tips, and all for free? Sounds too good to be true? Well, you bet­ter be­lieve it. Chung as­sured us that the ser­vice would def­i­nitely be free, as it is sup­ported by ads. How­ever, if you don’t like hav­ing ads pop­ping up in be­tween ev­ery other song, then you can also choose to pay RM9.90 a month for a premium ser­vice that will not only be ad-free, but higher qual­ity mu­sic files, as well.

Us­ing the soft­ware is pretty easy, too. The search en­gine is fast and re­spon­sive, and it is fairly easy to nav­i­gate as well. There is hardly any buffer­ing time or lag in the songs, and set­ting up the playlists is just a mat­ter of search­ing for the songs you want, and drag­ging them into the playlist.

An­other pretty nifty fea­ture is its abil­ity to recog­nise Chi­nese han yu pho­net­ics. Type “Wang Fei” in the search box and it’ll come up with a list of songs by Faye Wong. Of course, if you know the English names of the singers, you can also type in Faye Wong or Jacky Che­ung and it’ll get the job done as well (Un­for­tu­nately, the song ti­tles and names are still in Chi­nese).

Chung said that the whole point of the ser­vice is to help peo­ple re­live the thrill of dis­cov­er­ing mu­sic. “We’ve lost the joy and ex­pe­ri­ence of dis­cov­er­ing mu­sic to­day. In the past, we used to spend hours lis­ten­ing to ra­dio sta­tions for new songs; or go­ing to CD shops and try­ing out dozens of CDs to de­cide which one we should buy with the lim­ited cash we had,” he re­called. “Peo­ple these days don’t go to CD stores any­more. In fact, many young peo­ple these days have never bought a CD be­fore! The joy of dis­cov­er­ing mu­sic is gone, and we want to bring that back through Wowloud.”

n To sign up, visit wowloud.com.

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