Amazon’s new cloud drive, which allows for MP3 storage and streaming, may give Apple and Google a run for their money. Amazon’s cloud drive streams your MP3 files with a web browser, but if you own an Android device, the Amazon MP3 App can access your music library on the go.
The Amazon MP3 app is available through the Amazon Appstore. A “Cloud Player” app is also expected for the iPhone. It may support video streaming in the future, but restrictions will likely be put in place to only allow personal videos, not commercial.
The move by Amazon places it a step ahead of rivals including Google and Apple, both of which are reportedly aiming to start similar services, reports Bloomberg. Record companies have struck licensing deals with existing music-streaming services, such as Spotify, Rdio and Music Unlimited.
Cloud Player, which is bundled into the latest version of Amazon’s MP3 application, lets users listen to tracks on Android smartphones, as well as on personal computers utilizing Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari for Mac or Chrome Internet browsers.
“Our customers have told us they don’t want to download music to their work computer or phones because they find it hard to move music around to different devices,” Bill Carr, vice president of movies and music, said in the statement.
Every Amazon customer is eligible for 5GB of free storage upon signup, expandable up to one terabyte. However, if you purchase just one Amazon MP3 album, your storage is automatically boosted to 20GB for one year. Purchased Amazon music doesn’t count against your storage limit.
The NYT says the music locker business could spark legal problems between companies like Amazon that offer the service and record companies. Sony has launched Music Unlimited, a competing streaming subscription service that also allows users to access their music collections remotely. The music industry is concerned about the cloud service. But Amazon execs say they are seeking licenses from media companies.
Other on-demand music streaming services include; Rdio, Audiogalaxy, Audiobox.fm, Grooveshark, Rhapsody, Napster, Soundcloud, Last.fm, Pandora, Songbird and others, all bringing music streaming to both online and mobile users.
NewScale makes portals for cloud computing, and has more than 2 million users worldwide, including 20 percent of the Fortune 50 companies, according to its website. Some of newScale’s customers are AT&T Inc, American Express Co and Siemens AG.
A recent International Data Group survey found that 87% planned to work on applications that utilised cloud computing in 2011. The results indicate that cloud computing may explode into public consciousness in 2011, as applications and security issues are ironed out and cloud services more available.