Earlier this week Amazon launched its Cloud Drive, and Cloud Player service. The cloud drive allows you to store 5GB of music for free that you can then access from any computer or Android phone. If you buy an MP3 album from Amazon your amount of available storage jumps to 20GB. So, how easy is it to use? I gave the service a test drive to see how easy it is to upload your files, and access them from your phone or other computers.
Your cloud drive links to your existing Amazon account. So, to start using the service you’ll need to go to www.amazon.com/clouddrive, and sign in using your Amazon account info (if you’re not signed in already).
One of my favorite bands is a group called Slow Runner. I just got their latest album, Damage Points, in the mail today, so I decided to test drive the service with that album. Once you’re in your cloud drive, Amazon makes it pretty simple to figure out how to start uploading tracks, by providing a huge “Upload Files” button. Once you’re all logged in, click on that bad boy. You’ll have to read and agree to the term of service of the cloud, and then will be given another giant yellow button to use to start selecting files off your computer to upload. Files are limited to 2GB a piece, so while you can store a bunch of stuff here, you won’t be able to store your big stuff.
Select your tracks
A standard upload window launches, allowing you to pick files off your computer. I navigated to the Slow Runner portion of my iTunes, and selected all the tracks off of Damage Points. The windows then disappeared, and Amazon started uploading the tracks one at a time. In the meantime, I can play around with my drive, find some more things to add…the upload goes on in the background. All of my tracks were added to the Cloud Drive home page, but if I had taken a second to see there were drop-down options, I could have also dropped them specifically into the Music folder when I started uploading them. The drive comes with a Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos drive. You can create sub-folders in each larger folder, or additional main folders should you need them.
The Cloud Player lists all the tracks I’ve uploaded to the drive, and gives me the option to play an individual one, play all of them, or play a Playlist that I’ve created inside the player of specific tracks similar to how you might organize tracks in iTunes or another music player. The quality of streamed tracks wasn’t noticeably different than the actual CD playing in my computer.
Amazon also offers you the option to take your jams with you on your phone. I downloaded the Amazon MP3 app onto my Atrix, and was able to listen to the tracks I just uploaded instantly on my phone as well. For the few songs I listened to over AT&T’s 4G/HSPA+ network, audio sounded great and was uninterrupted. I can see myself using it to listen to tracks in the car, and other places I might typically turn to Pandora.
In addition to your free 5 or 20GB Amazon offers a sizable amount of paid storage options. Plans are $1/year per GB of storage, with options ranging from 20GB to 1000GB for those of you with serious storage needs.
Have any of you used Amazon’s Cloud Drive or Player yet? What do you think?