These are definitely the two main services for cloud syncing on iOS, but which is better for music making? I personally use Dropbox and have only once found myself using iCloud in a non-Apple app, and it wasn’t even for music; I don’t know even of any music apps that supported it. I’ve heard that the implementation of iCloud can be very complicated, so that may be one reason as to why we’re not seeing it in many apps. Another may be that this whole cloud movement is still catching on. Whatever the reason, I hope that at some point in the future more apps add iCloud support for a few reasons:
All your content on all of your devices
When I first upgraded to iOS 5 and started seeing all of the photos I took on my iPhone appear on my iPad, I was pretty annoyed. But after after opening up to the idea and thinking about how it could be of use to me, I quickly became a huge fan. Having all of your files synced to all of your devices could be extremely useful, especially in apps like NanoStudio or BeatMaker because they’re used to create pieces of music, which is something that you work on, and therefore could benefit from always having with you. I think that most people aren’t very fond of iCloud yet because it hasn’t been implemented in any apps that they use to create with. Say you put down a beat with some app on your iPad and later, on your bus ride home from work, you want to add a bass line over it from your iPhone but can’t because you didn’t sync it to Dropbox or email it to yourself. If you own an iPhone and an iPad and create with both, you can’t tell me you haven’t been there! With iCloud, you wouldn’t even have to do anything! Which brings me to my next point…
This isn’t as much a matter of convenience as it is a way to save your music from potentially getting lost forever. As creators, this something that we fear more than anything, and automatic syncing with iCloud is the perfect solution. You’d never forget to backup your projects because you wouldn’t have to! If you’ve ever lost music that you were in the process of making, you know exactly where I’m coming from, but if you haven’t, I strongly suggest that you hop on board before it’s too late!
That being said, I don’t think Dropbox is the worst service in the world. In fact, I really like it. You can easily share your files with others, refer new users to get free space, and most of all: your files are synced to a directory on Dropbox.com so you can access them on anything, not just on the devices that have the apps you created in installed. I just think that iCloud’s auto syncing feature looks too good to pass up, especially for creators on iOS or Mac who need their files securely saved. Apple might have something in store for making them more accessible on different devices, but they’re probably just going to waiting for more developers to make Mac App Store versions so that iOS and OS X apps will sync on all of their computers. So until we start seeing iCloud more on iOS, Dropbox will have to do…
If for some reason you’re not using Dropbox and would like to sign up, doing so with this link will score us both an extra 500 MB!