Amazon beats Apple and Google with cloud music launch
Amazon has beaten both Apple and Google with a surprise launch of a new cloud music service, Cloud Player, which allows people to store their entire music collection online and access it from multiple devices.
The launch of cloud-based music storage system has been long expected from either Apple or Google. However, Amazon has stolen both technology giants’ respective thunder by rolling out its Cloud Player streaming and storage service in the US.
The online retailer has unveiled the service, which allows users to upload their existing music library and thousands of other songs purchased through all online stores, including Apple’s iTunes, and listen to them via Cloud Player on any Android smartphone or computer.
"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," said Bill Carr, vice president of Music and Movies at Amazon.
"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."
Cloud Player is free of charge to Amazon account holders and currently only available in the US – with a UK launch date unknown.
Amazon account holders start with 5 GB of ‘Cloud Drive’ storage space (the equivalent of approximately 1,000 songs) to upload their digital music library and those who purchase an Amazon MP3 album will be upgraded to 20 GB space.
New Amazon MP3 purchases saved directly to Cloud Drive are stored for free and do not count against a customer's storage quota. Additional storage plans start at $20 a year.
Apple is expected to launch a cloud-based version of its iTunes service later this year. Similarly Google is also expected to roll out a cloud-based music service at some point during 2011.