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Print 21 comment(s) - last by Smilin.. on Mar 30 at 7:22 PM

Amazon beats Apple, Google, to streaming music service

Apple and Google are both preparing their own cloud-based storage services for multimedia files, but Amazon today beat them both to the punch with Cloud Drive. Cloud Drive allows users to stream/upload music to a PC, Mac, or Android smartphone.

Interestingly, iOS devices are left out of the mix with this first iteration of Cloud Drive, but this should come as no surprise given Amazon's close relationship with the Android platform. 

All of Amazon's customers get an instant 5GB of online storage for free. In addition, whenever a customer purchases an MP3 or album from Amazon's MP3 store, it is automatically saved to Cloud Drive (Amazon MP3 purchases do not count towards your storage count). Customers can then playback the music using the Cloud Player for PC/Mac or Android.

Likewise, music files can be uploaded to your Cloud Drive using the Cloud Player -- DRM-free MP3 and ACC files are supported. Although it appears that only music files can be played back using the Cloud Player, users can upload any kind of file they choose to the “digital locker” including movies, documents, and photos. 

"We're excited to take this leap forward in the digital experience," said Bill Carr, vice president of Movies and Music at Amazon. "The launch of Cloud Drive, Cloud Player for Web and Cloud Player for Android eliminates the need for constant software updates as well as the use of thumb drives and cables to move and manage music."

"Our customers have told us they don't want to download music to their work computers or phones because they find it hard to move music around to different devices," Carr said. "Now, whether at work, home, or on the go, customers can buy music from Amazon MP3, store it in the cloud and play it anywhere." 

As an added bonus, Amazon customers are upgraded to 20GB of Cloud Drive space for free if they purchase an MP3 album (for example, purchase this cheesy Glee album for $0.69 and you'll be upgraded to the 20GB service for one year). You can read the complete FAQ for Cloud Drive here.

It’s quite sobering that these great new streaming services are being offered (or soon to be offered) by these large tech companies when at the same time service providers are trying to strangle customers with bandwidth caps. While uploading and streaming music from a desktop or notebook computer using your home broadband connection might not be enough to raise any flags, you may want to be careful about going crazy with this service on more limited mobile data plans.



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Microsoft
By Smilin on 3/30/2011 7:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
As usual, no love for Microsoft.

I mean c'mon you mention they beat Apple and Google to the market with it but...??

They offer this on WP7 (and did on Kin as well). Three years from now when someone bothers to notice they'll be labeled as a copycat who never innovates.




RE: Microsoft
By Smilin on 3/30/2011 7:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
Oh wait.. I guess MSFT didn't offer the same. They stream to Xbox, PC, and WP7 then offer full downloads to PC and WP7. WP7 downloads made while roaming then pop into your PC when you're in wireless range of it. The free 25GB cloud storage MS offers is for docs and any pictures you take with the phone (they upload to cloud automatically..and again jump to your pc if in wireless range, or if you access the cloud from said PC).

I won't be using this myself from Amazon but it sounds nifty. I use them for Kindle (on 2 kindles, 2 wp7 phones, and two PCs...whispersync rocks!). I rent movies from them sometimes but usually just use netflix or Zune (which does 1080p streaming).

Original point remains.. MSFT's cloud innovation is way ahead of the competition.

Live Mesh rocks if you haven't tried it btw. Best cloud app I've seen so far... The RIAA is gonna crap themselves once they figure out what it can be used for... peer-peer invite-only SSL tunnels don't make for much evidence.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














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