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Amazon unveils cloud music player

March 29, 2011

Amazon has unveiled an online cloud-based music service that lets users upload songs and play them from a range of devices. Cloud Player has been launched in the US, ahead of similar products from Apple and Google.

Users are given 5Gb of storage space, roughly equivalent to 1,200 mp3 tracks, but can opt to pay for additional capacity. Cloud Player works with Blackberry, Palm and Android mobiles, although there is no support for Apple‘s iOS.

Amazon‘s vice president of movies and music, Bill Carr said: ‘Our customers have told us they don’t want to download music to their work computers or phones because they find it hard to move music around to different devices.’ Although a number of smaller cloud-based music services already exist, such as mSpot and AudioBox, Amazon is the first of the big technology companies to venture into this area.

Speculation has been rife that Apple would launch a cloud based version of iTunes since it purchased the online music service Lala in December 2009. It is widely expected that Apple‘s offering will come as part of a broader re-launch of its MobileMe platform.

The question I ask is whether this is yet another opportunity for the big record labels to try to regain some control over what we listen to; what will the restrictions be on what we can upload to the cloud? What are the implications for copyright law? Will the big labels insist on the uploader proving somehow that they have paid for the original file? Will you be able to upload songs from a secondhand CD you ripped? Will you be able to share your playlists with others? I can’t see the dinosaur labels allowing that.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 31, 2011 7:10 pm

    Just received my first Amazon email advert for this…the 5Gb of storage space refers to mp3s bought from them only ! So, it’s just a way to ensure people only buy from them – which I suspect means the big labels probably did a deal with them on copyright issues. They’re selling the past dressed up as the future – but it’s still the past.

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