Last week, Amazon launched their Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, an Internet service that lets anyone store music and other digital files – photos, videos, documents, and files under 2GB – on Amazon’s servers and access them via the Web and Android devices.
Amazon is actually giving users 5GB of Cloud Drive storage free of charge, which equates to about 1000 songs. And, if users just buy one MP3 album through Amazon, they’ll be able to access 20GB of cloud storage for a year. The Cloud Player works on PCs, Macs and Android devices, but not iOS devices (yet) since the uploader is built using Adobe’s Air platform.
This new service marks the first successful attempt to put music in the cloud – something which neither Apple nor Google have achieved, despite years of rumored attempts. However, Amazon may be in for a rough ride with potential law suits on the horizon from record labels cracking down on strict U.S. licensing agreements, which Amazon seems to have sidestepped in their rush to be first to market.
While this may present problems down the line, Amazon is largely being praised for putting music in the cloud. And, what’s more, their underlying cloud infrastructure, EC2, which CNN Money calls “iron-clad” and “indomitable,” appears to be the perfect fit for such a service. Its ability to scale services to match fluctuating demands will keep users’ experiences seamless and constantly available, despite potentially overwhelming traffic volumes.
Using Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, avid music listeners will no longer have to physically transport their music files from their computer to their phone and back again. And, in such a digitally dependent world, this level of accessibility Amazon is bringing to music seems only fitting. It will be interesting to see how Google and Apple respond, but, in the meantime, I’m excited to try Amazon’s service and be able to access my favorite songs from anywhere!