Amazon launched it’s Cloud Player and Cloud Drive service today, which lets you store files online and stream music to your computer or Android phone.We spent some time with it this morning, and despite some missing features, the service is an amazing value and pretty easy to use.
Right off the bat, Amazon gives you 5 GB of free storage, which is already more than the free 2 GB Dropbox has.
As an introductory offer, if you buy an album from Amazon’s MP3 store, you get a free one-year subscription to it’s 20 GB service. That’s more than enough to store most people’s entire music collection.
It’s true that you can link Dropbox to iTunes for syncing and streaming music on the go, but that takes a lot of work. Amazon’s service is much more user friendly.
So far we only have two complaints about Cloud Drive:
First, there’s no support for iPhone or iPad. This probably isn’t Amazon’s fault, since Apple is rumoured to be working on a music storage service of its own and probably doesn’t want an early competitor in the App Store.
We’d also like a way to sync files and music to Cloud Drive like you can with Dropbox. That way you won’t have to worry about keeping your online library updated.
Both of these features are likely on Amazon’s radar for future updates. If so, Dropbox and MobileMe will have to rush to catch up.
Clicking the status bar shows you each file's progress. (It didn't actually take 42 minutes to upload. We had a slow connection at the time).
Your songs will populate on the Cloud Player dashboard with artist, song, and album information. Click a song to play it. Track controls are at the bottom left of your screen.
After you load the album to your Cloud Drive, you can launch Cloud Player and listen to your new album right away. Click the yellow button and Cloud Player will launch in a new window.
You can download the app for free from the Android Market. We tried it on our Atrix 4G, and it worked great over wifi. There were some hiccups over AT&T's network though.
Here's how you stream music with the app:
- Launch the app and select 'Player.'
- Select 'Sign in to Cloud Drive' and enter your Amazon log in credentials. Tap 'Sign In.'
- You'll now see the songs stored in your Cloud Drive. Tap one to start streaming.