Watch out, Google. Step aside, Apple. There’s a new way to store and play music, and it also happens to be free. It’s all thanks to Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, and you can be sure that this could be a game changer.
Before now, the most popular way to purchase music was to fire up iTunes, pick a few songs, buy ’em, and store them on your hard drive for playing. But that is so 10 years ago! We now have a plethora of online storage at our disposal, so much, in fact, that companies are giving it away. So why not take advantage of it?
Well, Amazon wants to satisfy that demand with the creation of Cloud Drive and Cloud Player.
Cloud Drive is a free service that allows users to upload, for free, 5GB of music, videos, photos, documents, or any other type of files you can imagine. To be honest, there isn’t much spectacular about that — we have services like DropBox, Box.net, and so on that do that. But when you add Cloud Player to the mix, things get interesting.
Cloud Player is a platform that allows users to stream music that they upload and/or purchase from Amazon to a browser or Android-powered mobile device. It takes all of the music you upload from Cloud Drive and makes it streamable.
But what happens if 5GB isn’t enough? Well, you have a two options.
The first method is to simply pay for more storage. You can purchase 20GB of storage for $20 per year, 50GB for $50 per year, 100GB for $100, and so on up to 1TB for $1,000 per year. I’m not planning on storing 1TB worth of music in the cloud anytime soon, let’s just say that up front.
The second way is to purchase a digital album on Amazon’s MP3 store. After doing so, users will be given 20GB worth of storage for the first year for free or given a $20 credit towards the purchase storage if you have already purchased additional storage.
So, is Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player a game changer? It most certainly is. For those who purchase music but are disappointed that they can’t access it anywhere, this is important. It might also be something that people who have purchased subscriptions to music streaming services like Rdio, Rhapsody, and others to take a look into. Who knows? It could make purchasing music more popular than ever before.
The only downside is that users can only upload unrestricted MP3 and AAC files and it isn’t available on iOS. This isn’t an issue for me, but it will likely disappoint many other people out there. The reason for not supporting iOS at the moment isn’t known, but it might have to be with seeking approval from Apple. But that is only a guess.
But I can report that streaming the music on an Android device does work great. It streams at the original bit rate, however, so while you might receive high quality streaming, keep in mind that it will chew up your bandwidth, particularly important for those of you not on unlimited data plans.
Still, the most important thing is that Amazon did it first. They did it before Google and Apple, and that is shocking. However, it also means that Google and Apple have reason to release a competing product sooner rather than later.
Regardless, the way we buy, store, and listen to music is evolving; Amazon’s Cloud Player is only the beginning.
Amazon did it, no more excuses Apple! Hopefully this will push them to release their system as soon as WWDC maybe?