Music from the Cloud

Posted by | Filed under Personal Computing, Tech News | Apr 6, 2011 | Tags: , , , | No Comments

With the number of tech devices the average person possesses these days, it’s no wonder our digital selves are strewn across a range of smartphones, PCs and tablets. While these gadgets provide immeasurable conveniences for our everyday lives, they can also lead to the inconvenience of isolated data. This is particularly noticeable in the case of music.

Imagine driving to work wanting to listen to your most recent album acquisition, only to realize that you haven’t uploaded it to your smartphone yet. It’s sitting innocently (and frustratingly) on your desktop at home. Now nine hours separate you from aural happiness.

Does this scenario sound familiar? Well, Amazon’s newest offering may be the solution to your scattered music problem.

The Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player and Amazon Cloud Player for Android were released last week, beating out both Apple and Google in the race to offer a cloud-based music system. The Amazon line provides easy-to-use music storage and streaming capabilities, allowing users to access their music collection from any PC, Mac, Android smartphone or Android tablet.

Operating out of Amazon’s massive data center, the Amazon Cloud Drive allows users to store music, pictures, video and documents. The site grants 5GB of free space to all users with the option to upgrade to 20GB for $20 per year. Larger amounts of space are available in increments of 50GB, 100GB, 200GB, 500GB and 1000GB, at a rate of $1 per GB per year. Right now, Amazon is offering to upgrade the complimentary 5GB to 20GB for one year with the purchase of any Amazon MP3 album.

The site is really encouraging users to test out the program with these storage incentives and a convenient startup process. Anyone with an Amazon account now has a functional Cloud Drive, with the aforementioned 5GB of space available. The drive can be accessed by clicking the MP3s & Cloud Player tab on the left-side menu of the Amazon homepage.

As a storage system, the Cloud Drive can be a little pricey compared to other services, but its user-friendliness makes it ideal for someone looking for convenience. Music purchased from the Amazon store doesn’t count against your allotted amount of storage, so if you typically buy music from Amazon, this could free up a generous amount of space for other files.

The Amazon Cloud Player offers the ability to stream music to any PC, Mac, Android smartphone or Android tablet. Although it’s currently not compatible with any of the Apple iOS devices: iPad, iPhone or iPod. The player is a basic application with tools allowing you to play, shuffle, pause, skip forward or back to certain points in a song, as well as create playlists and categories subdivided by artist, album or genre. Utilizing cloud technology, the Amazon Cloud Player eliminates the problem of having music isolated and stored on several different devices.

Like the Amazon Cloud Player, the Amazon Cloud Player for Android allows users to access their music from the Cloud Drive, create playlists and pause and skip songs. Albums and songs can be downloaded directly to the device.

If you’re looking to consolidate your music collection into one, perpetually accessible location, then the Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player are worth checking out.


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