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Happy Neu! Year

10:00 AM -- It's the same every year.

Every January I tell myself I'm going to get fit -- really fit -- during the next 12 months.

Well, 2011 was a bit more successful than most previous years as I walked the Machu Picchu trail in Peru in December 2010 and that got me in shape for the start of the year.

Recently, though, I've not been too friendly with my step machine. So, in a bid to motivate myself (and find out more about mobile cloud and music services), I grabbed some sounds from Google Music at $0.49 per track and took advantage of the free 30-day premium membership offer from Spotify.

Google Music has, for me at least, one distinct advantage over Spotify. I set both up to sync and download over Wi-Fi so my mobile data connection doesn't get throttled back.

Google downloads tracks whenever it identifies a wireless LAN connection, and it took less than four minutes this morning to download Neu's debut album onto a MyTouch Slide 4G. You do, though, have to refresh the application on the phone before it shows new tracks.

Spotify isn't as flexible. It needs to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer to sync offline playlists. That's not a huge issue but could be a drag if you really want to download a track to your playlist while you're on the go. My standard-issue Windows 7 netbook (puke!) and phone swapped a 22-song playlist in about five minutes -- not bad at all.

Sound quality with both services (through cheap headphones) is about the same. Google might have a tiny edge in clarity but in a noisy gym or subway car it's not going to make much difference.

We'll see if this helps with my motivation.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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