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Amazon launches Cloud Drive and Cloud Player

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March 30, 2011

Amazon has announced the U.S. launch of new cloud storage and media playback services that...

Amazon has announced the U.S. launch of new cloud storage and media playback services that allow users to securely store and access files and music from any web-connected PC or Mac, or Android phone or tablet

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Amazon has announced the U.S. launch of new cloud storage and media playback services that allow users to securely store and access files and music from any web-connected PC or Mac, or Android phone or tablet. Amazon customers start with 5GB of free Cloud Drive storage, with the added sweetener of an additional 20GB of space for music files upon the purchase of an MP3 album from the online store. Stored music can be played from a computer's web browser – whether you're at work, at home or visiting friends or family. More online storage is available via purchase plans.

Ever since Google unveiled a new music search feature in 2009, there has been talk – and much eager anticipation – of a cloud music service being rolled out. The buzz was again ignited when our friends over at CNET recently reported that the service is currently undergoing in-house testing. Apple is also believed to be working on a similar project. All that is by-the-by, however, as Amazon has now beaten both of them to the finish post.

The company says that any Amazon MP3 purchase sent directly to the Cloud Drive is stored for free and not counted in with a customer's storage quota. All uploaded and purchased files are securely stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service, and music files retain their original bit rate. Although the company does say that storing content online means that customers "never need to worry about losing their music collection to a hard drive crash again," anyone affected by the recent GMail data loss incident may beg to differ. Even though Google managed to recover deleted emails, it is always sensible not to rely on a single method of file storage.

The free-to-use Amazon's Cloud Player is offered in two flavors. The Web version can currently be launched from Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari for Mac, and Chrome (what – no Opera?) and includes download and streaming options. The Cloud Player for Android is being bundled with the Amazon MP3 App, and can be used to play music from the Cloud Drive or stored locally on the device. Music format support for both services is limited to MP3 and AAC files, so OGG and FLAC lovers (like myself) will have to nurse their disappointment.

If you find that your free storage quota just isn't enough for your vast music collection, documents, photos, videos and so on, additional Cloud Drive plans start at US$20 for 20GB.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
3 Comments

Another "usa is the world" service.

If you still wonder why americans are considered obnoxious, this is a good example.

Dan Bar Dov
31st March, 2011 @ 05:51 am PDT

Is it unreasonable for an American company to release a service in their country (and largest market) first?

Chris Dube
31st March, 2011 @ 01:16 pm PDT

"...If you still wonder why americans are considered obnoxious..."

I'm sure making a sweeping generalization about 300,000,000 people won't be considered obnoxious by anyone. I'd also like to offer my sincerest apology for using the American English spelling of the word generalization; I wouldn't want to come off as obnoxious.

Facebook User
6th April, 2011 @ 01:23 am PDT
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