We can’t tell you how long we’ve been hearing that Apple will soon launch a cloud based music service.  But who cares, because Amazon just launched their own, and there is no reason not to try it out.

For free, as in $0, you’ll get 5GB of storage.  However, if you buy an MP3 album from Amazon’s MP3 store, you’ll automatically be upgraded to 20GB for one year.  Any future MP3 purchases from Amazon will automatically be stored to the cloud and won’t count against your storage capacity – makes sense since Amazon already owns and stores the music.

As of now, and strategically so, there is no official iPhone support, though the service will launch with an Android app called Cloud Player that allows you to buy and play music from the same app.  Mac and PC users can access tunes using Safari, IE, Firefox or Chrome, although we have yet to test if it works with the iPhone’s browser, Safari.  Sure, battery concerns will be at the forefront of everyone’s mobile mind, but if you’re on the road, in close proximity to a car charger it should be a non-issue, and shouldn’t be any more taxing than Pandora’s streaming app.

Files can be stored in either AAC or MP3 and they’ll retain their original bit rate upon upload.  Uploaded files should be downloadable again and transferable to any portable device that accepts the aforementioned formats.  But that’s not all.  Amazon’s cloud service can be used to store pictures, videos and really any digital file of your choosing.

As of now, Amazon’s hasn’t rolled out a tiered pricing plan, but based on the copyright on the site, we’re guessing that they’ll eventually roll out an option for increased space at a cost.  Keep in mind that the free 20GB only lasts for up to one year from purchase date.

Introducing Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player for Web, and Amazon Cloud Player for Android
Buy anywhere, play anywhere and keep all your music in one place
Start with 5 GB of free Cloud Drive storage – upgrade to 20 GB free with purchase of any MP3 album

SEATTLE, Mar 29, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) –

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced the launch of Amazon 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 cloudand play it on any Android phone, Android tablet, Mac or PC, 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.

“We’re excited to take this leap forward in the digital experience,” said Bill Carr, vice president of Movies and Music at Amazon. “The launch of Cloud Drive, Cloud Player for Web and Cloud Player for Android eliminates the need for constant software updates as well as the use of thumb drives and cables to move and manage music.”

“Our customers have told us they don’t want to download music to their work computers or phones because they find it hard to move music around to different devices,” Carr said. “Now, whether at work, home, or on the go, customers can buy music from Amazon MP3, store it in the cloud and play it anywhere.”

Store Music for Free

Customers automatically start with 5 GB of Cloud Drive storage to upload their digital music library, and those who purchase an Amazon MP3 album will be upgraded to 20 GB of Cloud Drive space. New Amazon MP3 purchases saved directly to Cloud Drive are stored for free and do not count against a customer’s storage quota.

Adding Music to Cloud Drive

Amazon’s easy uploading process makes it simple for customers to save their music library to their Cloud Drive. Files can be stored in AAC or MP3 formats and will be uploaded to Cloud Drive in the original bit rate. Customers can hand-pick particular songs, artists, albums or playlists to upload or simply upload their entire music library.

Cloud Player for Web

Customers who have a computer with a Web browser can listen to their music. Cloud Player for Web currently supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari for Mac, and Chrome. Cloud Player for Web lets customers easily manage their music with download and streaming options. Customers don’t need to worry about regularly updating software on their computer to enjoy music, and Amazon MP3 customers can continue to use iTunes and Windows Media Player to add their music to their iPods and MP3 players.

Cloud Player for Android

Cloud Player for Android is now bundled into the new version of the Amazon MP3 App; it includes the full Amazon MP3 Store and the mobile version of Cloud Player. Customers can use the app to play music stored on their Cloud Drive and music stored locally on their device. Features include the ability to search and browse by artist, album or song, create playlists and download music from Cloud Drive.

Secure Storage

Customers never need to worry about losing their music collection to a hard drive crash again. Files are securely stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and each file is uploaded to Cloud Drive in its original bit rate. Customers can buy music anywhere and know that their MP3s are safely stored in Cloud Drive and accessible from any device.

Store More than Music

Cloud Drive allows customers to upload and store all kinds of digital files; music, photos, videos and documents can be stored securely and are available via web browser on any computer. In addition to the 5 GB of free storage, customers can purchase storage plans starting at $20 a year for 20 GB.

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Christen Costa

 
Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."