Amazon has pulled a move which surprised many today, with the announcement of its own online music storage service.
The Cloud Drive offers 5GB of free storage for users to upload all their music to. The idea is they can then use the Cloud Player to stream those tunes wherever they are, providing they have access to a web browser. Furthermore, there will also be a version of Cloud Player for Android mobiles.
Songs are stored in the Cloud Drive at their original bit rate, in either AAC or MP3 format. It’s also possible to store pictures, videos and documents as well.
Bill Carr, VP of Movies and Music at Amazon, explains: “We’re excited to take this leap forward in the digital experience. 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.”
Indeed, tracks purchased from the Amazon MP3 store won’t count towards Cloud Drive’s 5GB storage limit. And anyone who buys an MP3 album from Amazon will get their storage quadrupled to 20GB.
Alternatively, you can fork out $20 for a year’s subscription to 20GB worth of storage, although while the 20GB for an album offer is on (until the end of 2011, apparently), you’d be pretty daft not to take advantage of that instead (and get a free album to boot).
There are reports on various Internet forums that buying certain cheap 69 cent albums actually grants the boost to 20GB, although others seem to claim this isn’t the case, and the customer must purchase a full price album. Try the cheapskate trick at your own risk.
We’d expect some serious bandwidth usage to spike because of this scheme, to say the least.