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Amazon Makes Major Updates to Cloud Drive and Player

Amazon Cloud Player

The Amazon Cloud Player launched with some fanfare back in March, but it quickly died down as people found it difficult to work with, especially when it came to uploading their music files.  Now the company is ramping up again to garner attention for the storage and music playing service by adding new interfaces and a fairly enticing offer.

Amazon unlimited musicInitially you started off with 5GB of free space, but you could up that to 20GB by purchasing any MP3 album from Amazon.  The ability to play music was also limited to your web browser and Android devices which cut down on some of the potential customer base.  With iCloud on the way from Apple, Amazon has to do something to make sure people remember their service, and with that in mind they have now decided that for a limited time you can purchase any level of service and your music files won’t count towards storage limits.  This means that all of the space you are paying for can be used for photos and documents, but your 5GB plan could hold 100GB of music if you wanted since they won’t count.

Additionally, the Web version of the Cloud Player will now work on the iPad via the Safari browser.  No app for it as of yet, but at least the Web access is a step forward as it was previously not possible.

While it’s all well and good that Amazon is finally making this service a bit more enticing, they are still missing one key element and that is the pain in the behind it is to get your music on to the service.  There is still no drag and drop interface, no ability to upload multiple folders at once, you are still going in to each folder, selecting all the content and then clicking upload, and you have to do this every single time.  If you want to upload something like your Ramones collection, that is going to take a mighty long time as you can’t simply select all of the albums.  (I speak from experience on that one … oof)  Apple has promised a no pain way to upload our music as it will simply scan our collections and only upload the songs they do not already have in their system.  This is thanks to the service they bought some time back named Lala, and while we’re sure Apple has patents slapped all over the technology, surely multiple folder uploads could be handled by Amazon instead of the currently insane hunt and peck style system it’s using.

I wanted to like Cloud Player, I really did, but the upload interface is what killed it for me.  The addition of unlimited music storage will actually make me go back and see if I can get into it again, but my hopes are not high.

You can check out the full press release below.

What do you think of Amazon’s improvements to its cloud products?

Amazon Announces Storage Plans for Amazon Cloud Drive with Unlimited Space for Music, Free Storage for all MP3s Purchased at Amazon MP3 and Cloud Player Support for iPad

SEATTLE – July 6, 2011 – Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced three enhancements to Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player: storage plans that include unlimited space for music, free storage for all Amazon MP3 purchases and Cloud Player for Web, now on iPad.

“Customers are already enjoying Cloud Drive and Cloud Player and now for just $20 a year, customers can get unlimited space for music,” said Craig Pape Director of Amazon Music. “Additionally, we are adding free storage for all MP3s purchased from Amazon MP3, and support for the iPad. Our customers love Cloud Drive and Cloud Player and we’re excited to innovate these services on their behalf.”

Unlimited Space for Music
Now, for a limited time, Amazon customers who purchase a Cloud Drive storage plan will receive unlimited space for their MP3 and AAC (.m4a) music files. This offer is available for even the lowest price plan: $20/year for 20 GB of file storage plus unlimited space for music. Customers can visit (www.amazon.com/clouddrive/manage) to purchase a Cloud Drive storage plan and receive unlimited space for music.

Store all Amazon MP3 Purchases for Free
Customers can now store all of their Amazon MP3 purchases for free in Cloud Drive, including future MP3 purchases as well as all purchases made before the launch of Cloud Drive and Cloud Player. MP3s purchased from Amazon MP3 and stored in Amazon Cloud Drive will not count against a customer’s storage quota.

Cloud Player for Web on iPad
Also new, Cloud Player for Web on iPad. Cloud Player, combined with unlimited space for music in Cloud Drive, enables customers to play music stored in the cloud on any Android phone, Android tablet, Mac, PC, and now on their iPad. Cloud Player for Web has been optimized to offer customers streaming playback of their Cloud Drive music using the Safari browser for iPad. To access Cloud Player for iPad, customers simply open their Safari browser and visit (www.amazon.com/cloudplayer) to start listening to their music.

Storage for Music and More
All customers automatically start with 5 GB of free Cloud Drive storage to begin uploading their digital music library, and for a limited time, those who purchase any Cloud Drive storage plan will receive unlimited space for music at no additional cost.  In addition to unlimited space for music, Cloud Drive allows customers to upload and store all kinds of digital files, including photos, videos and documents which are stored securely and available via web browser on any computer. Customers who qualified for 20 GB of free storage from earlier promotions will receive the unlimited space for music at no additional cost.

In March, Amazon launched Cloud Drive (www.amazon.com/clouddrive), Amazon Cloud Player for Web (www.amazon.com/cloudplayer), and Amazon Cloud Player for Android (www.amazon.com/cloudplayerandroid).

Together, these services enable customers to securely store music in the cloud and play it on any Android phone, Android tablet, Mac or PC, and now iPad, wherever they are.  Customers 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.

 


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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