As an Android user and Google fan, I have been waiting for quite a few months for Google’s new music service to finally debut. It is rumored to be a place where you can store your music in the cloud and then can be played from anywhere. Well after months of waiting it looks like Amazon has beaten Google to the punch with the debut of Amazon Cloud Storage. This new offering from Amazon allows users to place their music onto Amazon’s free 5gb of storage and then stream it to any computer or android device, with iOS currently not being supported. Amazon is looking to rival apple in many ways, with Amazon focusing on MP3 sales to combat Apple’s iTunes and just a few days ago Amazon releases their own App Store for the Android market. Now Amazon has added icing to the cake giving away 5gb of space to users to store not only music, but videos, photos and documents.
This is a huge step forward in acquainting the normal computer user with the cloud. For people who aren’t familiar with what the cloud is or how it will used by, please check out our article, 4 Reasons you should be excited about cloud computing. Smart phones have become the norm in today’s tech world and because of that they have been replacing the need for a MP3 player, the only problem to this is that most smart phones lack the space needed to hold a sizable music collection and so your options become:
- Constantly add/remove your music
- Use a home streaming service which is either highly technical or costs money
- Use a music service like Pandora or Slacker
What Amazon is doing is giving away free space and at the same time handling the technical parts to make streaming music as painless for the user as possible. To make money on this service Amazon is giving additional space for a monthly fee and incentivizing users to buy Amazon MP3s by not having them count towards space used. Finally to get people to actually become familiar with buying music from Amazon versus iTunes, they are giving out additional storage to people who purchase a full album from Amazon.
Amazon’s Cloud Storage/Player is a big step forward in personal cloud computing and with Google Music still on the horizon, it will be interesting to see how Google is going to position itself against Amazon’s free cloud.