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US online retail giant Amazon has joined the music streaming game with the launch of “Cloud Drive” and “Cloud Player”. Cloud Player is a music player that allows users to upload their music to Amazon’s servers — Cloud Drive. Users are given five GB of storage for free which allows them to access their media content from any location.
Cloud Player is available as an app for the web and Android. Both apps allow users to upload their music, create playlists and organise their lists. The music and settings can be accessed from any compatible computer or Android device.
The service works quite simply:
- Buy an album from Amazon’s MP3 it gets automatically stored on your Cloud Drive.
- Purchasing an album from Amazon MP3 will earn you 20 GB free storage for a year after which you pay US$1 per GB.
- The prices range from 20 GB for US$20 for a year — 50 GB is US$50, 100 GB is US$100, and 1 TB for US$1 000.
- The Cloud Drive storage isn’t just for music — if you’re paying for 1 TB better store the 70 hours of HD videos it can hold.
- Other media files can be uploaded as well as documents.
- The MP3 uploader accepts MP3 or AAC files, but they must be DRM-free (.wma, .wav, .ogg and others are not supported)
- Old Amazon MP3 purchases aren’t stored in your Cloud Drive, only new purchases once on the server. However, you can upload the files manually.
“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,” said Bill Carr, Amazon’s Vice President of movies and music, in a statement.
Google and Apple have been rumoured to be working on their own cloud-based players, but it seems Amazon has beaten them to the finish line. However, when they eventually launch their own, the online retail giant will have some competition. The service is for the moment only available in the US.