Amazon’s consumer cloud is music to the ears of Android users

29 Mar 2011

E-commerce and cloud computing giant Amazon has taken the wraps off a new family of cloud products that bring cloud computing to the fingertips of web users and allows music lovers to access their favourite tunes over the cloud and via Android. last night launched Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player for Web and Amazon Cloud Player for Android.

The new services enable users to securely store music in the cloud and play it on any Android phone, Android tablet, Mac or PC, wherever they are. Users can easily upload their music library to Amazon Cloud Drive and can save any new Amazon MP3 purchases directly to their Amazon Cloud Drive for free.

“We’re excited to take this leap forward in the digital experience,” said Bill Carr, vice-president of Movies and Music at Amazon.

“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,” Carr said.

“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,” he added.

Amazon cloud storage for consumers

Users automatically start with 5GB of Cloud Drive storage to upload their digital music library, and those who purchase an Amazon MP3 album will be upgraded to 20GB of Cloud Drive space. New Amazon MP3 purchases saved directly to Cloud Drive are stored for free and do not count against a customer’s storage quota.

Amazon’s uploading process is designed to be easy and simple for customers to save their music library to their Cloud Drive. Files can be stored in AAC or MP3 formats and will be uploaded to Cloud Drive in the original bit rate. Customers can hand pick particular songs, artists, albums or playlists to upload or simply upload their entire music library.

Users who have a computer with a web browser can listen to their music. Cloud Player for Web currently supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari for Mac, and Chrome. Cloud Player for Web lets users easily manage their music with download and streaming options. Customers don’t need to worry about regularly updating software on their computer to enjoy music, and Amazon MP3 customers can continue to use iTunes and Windows Media Player to add their music to their iPods and MP3 players.

Cloud Player for Android

Cloud Player for Android is now bundled into the new version of the Amazon MP3 App; it includes the full Amazon MP3 Store and the mobile version of Cloud Player. Users can use the app to play music stored on their Cloud Drive and music stored locally on their device. Features include the ability to search and browse by artist, album or song, create playlists and download music from Cloud Drive.

Users never need to worry about losing their music collection to a hard drive crash again. Files are securely stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and each file is uploaded to Cloud Drive in its original bit rate. Users can buy music anywhere and know their MP3s are safely stored in Cloud Drive and accessible from any device.

Cloud Drive allows users to upload and store all kinds of digital files – music, photos, videos and documents can be stored securely and are available via web browser on any computer. In addition to the 5GB of free storage, users can purchase storage plans starting at US$20 a year for 20GB.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years