What are the Amazon Cloud Player and Drive?

Amazon released Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player a week ago. 

What are they? They are the future of how we will store and access our music. Amazon Cloud Drive will store 5 gigabytes of music for free in the "cloud". An average song is 5 megabytes, which means you will be able to store 1,000 songs with the 5 gigabytes allotment. For a fee you can upgrade to 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 gigabytes for $20, $50, $100, $200, $500, $1000/year respectively.

For those of you not familiar with the "cloud", it is the new way to store data (see Sherrie's article on cloud software). Instead of using your physical hard-drive or flash drive, you store the data in the internet, in this case, Amazon will host your music data in the "cloud". The advantage of the Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player is that you can access your music with any computer or Android device. You are no longer limited by the songs on your computer's hard-drive or phone's SD-card.

What do you need? You will first need an Amazon account, which, fortunately, most of us already have. Then you will need to download the Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player software on each device you wish to play your music.

How do you store music on it? This is the sucky part. You can only store music that you buy from Amazon on their "cloud" drive. And what is worse, only music that you buy henceforth. So the Mana, "Lluvia al Corazon" single I bought last week, will not go into the Amazon Cloud Drive unless I re-buy it, chucks...

If Amazon let me upload the songs I previously bought from them, I would be more inclined to use this new service. I will definitely give the Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player a try when I buy my next song through Amazon. To entice people to get started, Amazon is offering a free 20 gigabyte account for one year with the purchase of an album. Tempting...but I will pass.

Expect Apple to come out with something similar, I just hope they let us use our previously bought iTunes music for their "cloud" service.

04/14/2011 Update: It turns out you can can upload your entire music library up to the Amazon Cloud Drive, regardless of where/when you bought it. Sweet! To store your music library on the Amazon Cloud Drive simply register with Amazon and download the Uploader Amazon MP3 program.


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