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Amazon Responds to Apple's iCloud With Music Storage Upgrades, iPad Player

Earlier this year, Amazon launched its Cloud Drive and Cloud Player services, offering users the ability to store music and other digital content on Amazon's servers for access from a variety of Internet-connected devices. With Apple's iCloud announcement last month, some have been wondering whether Amazon might tweak its offerings to compete with iCloud.


In response, Amazon today announced several changes that do exactly that, expanding the music storage capabilities of its Cloud Drive service and launching an iPad-optimized Cloud Player. Among the specific changes:

- Unlimited music storage with any paid plan: Users signing up for any paid storage plan, including the lowest tier priced at $20 per year for 20 GB of space, automatically receive unlimited storage space for music in MP3 and AAC formats. The change leaves the full paid storage amount available for other content such as photos and documents. This offer is available for a limited time.

- Free storage of all Amazon MP3 Store purchases: Most applicable for those users opting to stick with the free 5 GB plan, Amazon will now store all past and future Amazon MP3 Store purchases free of charge and without counting toward the 5 GB limit. The feature had previously been limited to purchases made since the debut of Cloud Drive and Cloud Player.

- Cloud Player for iPad: Amazon has launched an iPad-optimized web player for music stored through the Cloud Drive service. Despite a lack of official support for iOS devices until now, Amazon Cloud Player has been partially functional, but the new changes should significantly increase usability for iPad customers.

The "iTunes in the Cloud" component of iCloud is partially active now, allowing users to automatically download newly-purchased content to all iCloud-enabled devices and to support easy re-downloading of previously-purchased iTunes Store content. The full iCloud service is set to debut later this year alongside iOS 5, and will provide users with 5 GB of free storage, not including purchased music, apps, books, and Photo Streams. Additional storage will be available at as-yet unannounced prices.

The full iCloud launch will also see the debut of iTunes Match, a $24.99/year service that will allow users to store their entire music collections in the cloud for syncing across devices, either by matching to iTunes Store tracks or by uploading directly into the cloud.



Top Rated Comments

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103 months ago

So please release your pretend-iPad that's also "partially functional" (seems to be the trend these days) so we can pan it already and move on.


At least you're keeping an open mind and are willing to examine their offering before coming to a conclusion.

:rolleyes:
Rating: 13 Votes
103 months ago

And they just whipped this up on what server farm?

Maybe they are doing this on spare store space in their existing farm???

Besides... for me, the Apple Eco system wins here. Most of my purchased music is already from iTunes and I want this on all my iOS devices without any hassle. The Android crowed will love this. I'm sure that's who it's really targeted at.


Amazon has one of the greatest server infrastructures known to man. Besides a slight hiccup a few months back, it's worked pretty flawless for them and every other user of their services (S3, etc.)
Rating: 12 Votes
103 months ago

All that work from Amazon, and the world replies "Who cares?"

Edit: I actually tried buying music from amazon once. It was the biggest pain the ass ever. I had to download a new app or something, queue up the music, it was horrible. I deleted every trace of it from my computer and will never buy music from them again.

.... but i'll still continue to buy everything else from them with the free 2nd day air shipping!


Buying from Amazon is dead simple. It's less to install than iTunes.

Ok... so it's still for Amazon's music and stuff...

At first I was thinking it was a DropBox style service.


It will take music from anywhere, not just Amazon purchased.

If it ain't in Lossless....no thank you!


Do any of the big players offer lossless downloads yet? My guess is that they never will because no one will notice, except for the negatives of larger files, longer downloads, and more bandwidth used. 256k AAC is good enough for almost all applications.
Rating: 10 Votes
103 months ago

And they just whipped this up on what server farm?

Maybe they are doing this on spare store space in their existing farm???

Besides... for me, the Apple Eco system wins here. Most of my purchased music is already from iTunes and I want this on all my iOS devices without any hassle. The Android crowed will love this. I'm sure that's who it's really targeted at.


you're kidding, right :eek: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_S3)
Rating: 10 Votes
103 months ago



There's a lot of hate in this thread and I'm not sure why.


Hi, you must be new here. This is Macrumors.
Rating: 10 Votes
103 months ago

And they just whipped this up on what server farm?

Maybe they are doing this on spare store space in their existing farm???

Besides... for me, the Apple Eco system wins here. Most of my purchased music is already from iTunes and I want this on all my iOS devices without any hassle. The Android crowed will love this. I'm sure that's who it's really targeted at.


amazon actually has ridiculous server space, remember when Anonymous tried to take their site down with request and failed?
Rating: 9 Votes
103 months ago
Personally I think this is awesome. I get a lot of music from Amazon. Its cheaper a lot of times than iTunes. $0.69 vs. $1.29. I'll take Amazon please. Amazon has also been doing DRM free music since the beginning, something I also have an appreciation for.

I like that I can keep all my Amazon.com purchased music "in the cloud" for free and not have to store them locally, if I don't want to.

There's a lot of hate in this thread and I'm not sure why.
Rating: 9 Votes
103 months ago

Hmm, built into the device, or from some third party...I'd pick the former.


I fully agree. Plus iCloud will give me cloud backups of my device, document syncing, and support for app-data syncing between various instances of the same app on multiple devices (assuming app developers take advantage of the API). Music storage is the least of my concerns since my music does not take much space on my device compared to apps or movies.

AWESOME, this is actually pretty neat as apple doesnt really understand what cloud access to music means. redownloads of ur music from the store r fine but pointless as they fill up ur iphone space just as much as synching the music in the first place


It is certainly better than what Amazon previously offered, but those of us in the US typically don't plan on using our limited costly data plans to constantly stream music from iCloud (or Amazon). It makes far more sense to just store the music on the device unless you have a huge collection of music. And iCloud will still let you store the ones you most want to listen to now, and then get the ones you forgot to sync when you want them. I for one prefer to have my music & movies on my device and not be dependent on the cloud connectivity to get to my stuff (i.e.: i prefer the replicate / work-locally / replicate model). To me the "cloud" makes for a good fall-back solution when I go on vacation and forgot to sync the kid's favorite movie (still waiting for Apple to announce movies over iCloud).

This is especially true with my iPad since i want it to sync to my iPhone, but often it is not on 3G since I don't like to pay for the monthly plan unless I am going on vacation. Instead, I can use the iPad while riding in the car or anyplace without connectivity, and then have my apps do their replication when I am online.

I think Apple is the only one who gets the part of the "cloud" that pertains to apps. Google thinks you should be online-all-the-time (e.g.: maps, gmail, etc...). Amazon thinks the cloud is only about a hard-drive in the sky with music streaming. Apple is the only one creating an API to allow the "pick up where you left off on your other device" model and "allow me to actually get something done while offline and then replicate changes when back online".

Too many folks think "cloud = music streaming" -- personally, if I wanted an iPod, I would have bought an iPod. I bought an iPhone and iPad for apps -- music is a peripheral function to me.
Rating: 8 Votes
103 months ago
Apple fans and conspiracy theories

Hmmm. Amazon "appstore". Amazon "cloud". Coincidental timing in each case. Hmmm.

Rocketman


You are ignorant of the real history.

Amazon announced their "cloud" service in August 2006 - quite some time before the Iphone was announced.

I'd say that Apple is the one running the copying machines here, except that "cloud" has long been a generic term.
Rating: 8 Votes
103 months ago
Heh, I bought the lady gaga album for 99 cents which gave me a free upgrade to the 20gb plan that day. Apparently I am getting the unlimited music storage upgrade as well. Sorry apple, but you lost this one.

I'm currently backing up ALL my own (self produced music) to the amazon cloud. And loving it. With 20gb left for documents and photos etc. while playing (streaming) playback to my ipad.

Just too nice, and the fan bois sing, doo dee doo boo hoo hee hoo hee hoo hee boo hee hoo

I'm looking at $20 for 2 years of unlimited music with no goofy re-downloading or whatever.
Rating: 7 Votes

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