Amazon announced changes to its cloud-based storage product Wednesday, the latest move in the competition for music fans among it, Apple and Google. Along with a temporary price cut, Amazon made a version of its Amazon Cloud Player compatible with Apple’s iPad and added free storage for nearly all purchased music files.
The new price is $20 a year for 20 GB of storage space on the Amazon Cloud Drive service. This limit does not include MP3 and AAC music files, meaning that storage for purchased digital music is virtually unlimited. This is a change from the previous price of 5 GB for free with additional space available for a small fee, and seems designed to undercut the $25 a year Apple will charge for up to 25,000 songs on iCloud when the service launches later this year. It is unknown how long Amazon Cloud Drive’s limited time special offer will be available, but the company has said MP3s purchased from Amazon still will not count against storage quotas.
Google Music Beta launched in May. In this iteration the service allows users to store 20,000 for free, but Google has not yet announced pricing for the official product.
Although it is being marketed to music fans at the moment, Amazon Cloud allows users to store any kind of file. Unlike iCloud, as All Things D pointed out, it does not yet have the capability or the licensing deals that allow Apple to include a “scan and match” feature, so users don’t have to upload each one of their songs as long as the service recognizes them.
Amazon enabled iPad users to store music on the Cloud Drive by introducing Cloud Player for Web on iPad, which requires using the Safari browser. The other versions, Amazon Cloud Player for Web and Amazon Cloud Player for Android, were launched in March simultaneously with the Cloud Drive product.
All Things D post: http://tinyurl.com/43lqea3
TechCrunch post: http://tinyurl.com/4xfsbh6
Cloud Drive FAQ: http://tinyurl.com/3jclwec