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Cloud: Amazon scuds ahead of Apple with Cloud Drive and Cloud Player

Posted on by Mike Evans

Amazon today introduces three cloud-based storage products for web and Android. iOS is not included at this stage. The three services allow Amazon customers to store music in the cloud and play it on any Android phone, Android tablet, Mac or PC wherever they are. Customers can also upload their music library and save any new MP3 purchases directly to Amazon Cloud Drive without charge.

Echoing the problems we have all experienced with moving around our iTunes libraries, Amazon's Bill Carr says, "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. 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.

Customers start with a free 5GB Cloud Drive to upload their digital music library and anyone buying at least one Amazon MP3 album will be upgraded to 20GB of Cloud Drive space. New MP3 purchases saved direct to Cloud Drive are stored without charge and do not count towards a customer's storage quota.

Music can be uploaded to Cloud Drive in the original bit rate and it is possible to select individual songs, artists, albums or playlists to upload—or simply move over the entire library. Using Cloud Player for Web, customers can listen to their music using all major browsers, including Safari and Firefox. Significantly, Amazon Cloud customers can continue to use iTunes or Windows Media Player to add their music to iOS devices and MP3 players.

As a taste of what is to come for Apple/MobileMe, Cloud Player is now bundled into the new version of Amazon's MP3 App for Android. The app can be used to play music stored on Cloud Drive and music stored locally on the device. Features include the ability to search and browse by artist, album or song, create playlists and download music from Cloud Drive.

Cloud Drive will handle all kinds of digital files, including videos, photos and documents. Files are stored securely and are available via web browser on any computer.

The first 5GB of storage is free and this rises to 20GB if you buy one Amazon MP3 album a year. Additional storage plans start at $20 a year.

For once, Apple has been caught on the hop by Amazon. Rumours have been circulating for months that Apple plans a major revision of MobileMe, to include music streaming and cloud storage. The free-to-low-price Amazon offering makes it ever more difficult for Apple to justify the expensive MobileMe. And other cloud storage services such as Dropbox will have to revise their pricing if they are to compete successfully in the new world of clouds.

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Here is the full text of the Amazon release:

Introducing Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player for Web, and Amazon Cloud Player for Android
Buy anywhere, play anywhere and keep all your music in one place
Start with 5 GB of free Cloud Drive storageupgrade to 20 GB free with purchase of any MP3 album

SEATTLE, Mar 29, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced the launch of Amazon Cloud Drive (www.amazon.com/clouddrive), Amazon Cloud Player for Web (www.amazon.com/cloudplayer) and Amazon Cloud Player for Android (www.amazon.com/cloudplayerandroid). Together, these services enable customers to securely store music in the cloud and play it on any Android phone, Android tablet, Mac or PC, wherever they are. Customers can easily upload their music library to Amazon Cloud Drive and can save any new Amazon MP3 purchases directly to their Amazon Cloud Drive for free.

 

"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."

Store Music for Free

Customers automatically start with 5 GB of Cloud Drive storage to upload their digital music library, and those who purchase an Amazon MP3 album will be upgraded to 20 GB of Cloud Drive space. New Amazon MP3 purchases saved directly to Cloud Drive are stored for free and do not count against a customer's storage quota.

Adding Music to Cloud Drive

Amazon's easy uploading process makes it simple for customers to save their music library to their Cloud Drive. Files can be stored in AAC or MP3 formats and will be uploaded to Cloud Drive in the original bit rate. Customers can hand-pick particular songs, artists, albums or playlists to upload or simply upload their entire music library.

Cloud Player for Web

Customers who have a computer with a Web browser can listen to their music. Cloud Player for Web currently supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari for Mac, and Chrome. Cloud Player for Web lets customers easily manage their music with download and streaming options. Customers don't need to worry about regularly updating software on their computer to enjoy music, and Amazon MP3 customers can continue to use iTunes and Windows Media Player to add their music to their iPods and MP3 players.

Cloud Player for Android

Cloud Player for Android is now bundled into the new version of the Amazon MP3 App; it includes the full Amazon MP3 Store and the mobile version of Cloud Player. Customers can use the app to play music stored on their Cloud Drive and music stored locally on their device. Features include the ability to search and browse by artist, album or song, create playlists and download music from Cloud Drive.

Secure Storage

Customers never need to worry about losing their music collection to a hard drive crash again. Files are securely stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and each file is uploaded to Cloud Drive in its original bit rate. Customers can buy music anywhere and know that their MP3s are safely stored in Cloud Drive and accessible from any device.

Store More than Music

Cloud Drive allows customers to upload and store all kinds of digital files; music, photos, videos and documents can be stored securely and are available via web browser on any computer. In addition to the 5 GB of free storage, customers can purchase storage plans starting at $20 a year for 20 GB.

    Cloud Drive   Cloud Player for Web   Cloud Player for Android
Cost   -5 GB: Free

-20 GB: Free for one year with purchase of MP3 album

-Additional storage plans starting at $20 a year

 

-Free

 

-Free

Storage   -Digital Music

-Videos

-Photos

-Documents

 

-N/A

 

-N/A

Format   -Music: Any type of file

-Video: Any type of file

-Pictures: Any type of file

-Documents: Any type of file

 

-Music: MP3, AAC

 

-Music: MP3, AAC

Compatible

Devices

 

-Macs

-PCs

  -Android Phones

-Android Tablets

-Macs

-PCs

  -Android Phones

-Android Tablets

Audio Quality  

-N/A

  -Original bit rate of your music file   -Original bit rate of your music file
Basic Features   -Upload, download, move, copy, delete, rename.   -Upload, download, playback, playlist management   -Upload, download, playback, playlist management
 

 

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