July 17, 2010 | by Ed Clark
If you used Lala before Apple bought it and shut down the service, you are familiar with the MeCanto concept. MeCanto is an app that lets you upload your music to a web service so that you can stream your library through the internet on your phone. In theory, this removes all the hassle of managing your music libraries: just put your music in the cloud and play it anywhere you like. So how well does it work in practice?
Installation is simple and easy–as long as you have a PC (there is no Mac version). Simply go to http://www.Mecanto.com, register, and install the application on your computer. Next, install the Android app from the following URL: http://www.mecanto.com/ma (make sure that you have enabled the setting for installing non-Market apps, because MeCanto is not on the Market). Finally, select a folder on your computer with your desired music files, and wait for the sync to complete. WARNING: try a folder with only a few files at first.
The sync process is where I ran into the first problem with MeCanto. Syncing was very slow, both through my work network and my home network. In fact, uploading one song (5.5MB) from my house took over 8 minutes on a cable modem. If you want to give MeCanto a try, be prepared to start an upload and leave it going overnight (or longer)–it’s going to take a while. I recommend selecting the option to manually choose your music folders.
MeCanto has a nice interface, with support for playlists, folders, and genres. All music is automatically sorted by artist/album, and the service worked very well over wifi. When I switched to 3G, it still worked well, but would sometimes just hang without doing anything. Pausing the current song and restarting it seemed to fix these issues.
- Easy installation
- “Cloud”-based music library
- Supports Playlists, Folders
- Sorts music by Artist/Album
- No Mac support
- Non-Market app (prevents usage for some Android folks)
- Slow Syncing/Upload
- Streaming can be iffy over 3G