Amazon announced its cloud music service today, offering 5 GB of music storage of AAC and MP3 music files to everybody, but 20 GB of storage to those who purchase MP3 albums at Amazon.
The files must be unencrypted AACs or MP3s, and they can be uploaded at their original bit rate. Those who purchase an album from Amazon’s MP3 service get the sweetest deal, though—20GB of space—and all new MP3 purchases will be automatically copied to your Cloud Drive without counting against your storage quota (you can still download the MP3s, too).
Apple is rumored to be working on its own cloud-based music service for MobileMe with largely the same features: music downloads plus online music storage for streaming to an iOS device or computer. That’s not expected to come until this summer or later, though.
As I wrote last month, Apple’s Lala technology is suspect until proven, based on my testing. So, Amazon’s lead could be bigger than it appears.
Based on the phone calls for help I’ve gotten over the years from friends and relatives who have lost photos and music, cloud storage will become ubiquitous. With music purchases protected, don’t be surprised if Amazon’s next move is into photo processing and storage.
Amazon’s digital home presence until this year spiked at Christmas shopping season. But the company is rapidly fleshing out a cloud-based series of products that are growing the company’s footprint well beyond e-commerce and distribution. Amazon is a company that I’ll be watching more closely.
Source: Wall Street Journal