Amazon Upgrades Cloud Drive, Now Includes iPad Support
Amazon announced today that they would be upgrading their Cloud Drive
online music service in three distinct ways. Amazon will offer storage plans that include unlimited space for music, free storage of MP3’s purchased through Amazon and support for the iPad with their Cloud Player for the web.
“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.” Any music not purchase though Amazon MP3 will have to be manually uploaded to the site. With plans starting at $20 a month for 20GB of storage space, Apple’s iTunes Match service may be a better deal at $25 a year for some people. Amazon has yet to revealed how long this unlimited offer will be available.
It would appear that Amazon is beefing up its cloud based music service ahead of the launch of Apple’s iCloud
in the fall. With the latest upgrade, “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.” None of the music purchased through Amazon MP3 will count against a users total amount of storage capacity. Previously, Cloud Drive would count all music files against the total storage limit, including music purchased through Amazon.
Although Apple has yet to launch iCloud officially, they have already implemented some of the same features that Amazon now offers. Currently, iTunes lets you re-download any song that you’ve already purchased, to any device that you own. When iCloud is released in the fall, Amazon’s Cloud Drive service may not look as appealing to some customers.
Amazon’s third new feature is Cloud Player for iPad. Amazon has decided to forgo Apple’s App Store in favor of a web based music player. This makes sense for them because Apple has no reason to approve an app that will directly compete with iTunes and iCloud. Currently, iOS devices can listen to music through Safari, but the process is less than elegant. With a dedicated Cloud Player for iPad, streaming music will be a much more enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, the iPhone and iPod Touch will have to wait for the next upgrade to enjoy the native web player. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long.