Amazon’s Cloud Player

Tonight Amazon announced its Cloud Player for Web & Android. They give 5 GB for free, upgraded to 20 GB for one year, if you buy any MP3 album. Any new album you buy and you add it to the Cloud service won’t eat out your storage allowance. All this is not a bad idea, I’m myself a supporter of streaming, when this is done right. The problem is that Amazon doesn’t do this right. RDIO, MOG, ThumbPlay, Real, Napster, Spotify, do. The problems I have with the Amazon deal are:

1. When you purchase a new album you can only add it EITHER on your cloud drive, or download it on your PC. If you must download to your PC (as I do), and later want to have it on your cloud drive as well, you have to manually upload it! This is stupid. Sure it makes sense from legal point of view (so Amazon doesn’t go on record selling you two copies), but it sucks from the user’s point of view. There is no other reason, apart the legalities, why Amazon couldn’t automatically link your purchase to your cloud account. It already does not use your storage to store new purchases, so the technical part of just “linking” music with accounts is obviously in place.

2. I have to upload manually my previously-bought Amazon music. I don’t see why Amazon shouldn’t automatically link my account with these past purchases too — apart the legal shite again.

3. There is no “offline” mode. If someone uses wifi or 3G to listen to music from the cloud he will find his smartphone’s battery go down within 2-3 hours. RDIO/MOG/etc offer the ability to sync up to about ~4 GB of your collection, and access it “offline”. Their servers create an encrypted blob of data that only their player can playback. This way you can listen everything from the cloud when you’re using a wall socket, and the checked items directly from the flash drive when you’re mobile. Perfect for travelers.

4. Ultimately, this service is not good enough. RDIO/MOG is a better deal at $10 per month with an ~unlimited music selection (not just your own library). Given that I spend about $80 a month on music (mostly from Amazon these days, since they’re considerably cheaper than iTunes), if I wanted to go subscription I’d just go with MOG or RDIO.

Sitting down and manually uploading gigabytes of files to Amazon’s servers is one thing I won’t do though. No way.

7 Comments »

Paul Gokin wrote on March 31st, 2011 at 6:34 AM PST:

5. Cloud player is not accessible from outside the US (((


Mike wrote on April 1st, 2011 at 8:50 PM PST:

I can’t comment on the use of Cloud for playing back tunes purchased from Amazon, but what about existing files you have (from various other sources) ? Doesn’t that make it a viable storage method ? And, what about documents and perhaps e-text or future e-reader stuff,maybe videos. I see music as just one part of the big picture……perhaps a minor one at that.


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Eugenia wrote on April 1st, 2011 at 11:27 PM PST:

I don’t know if you can share with others. If you can share, then sure, it’s a good deal. But if you can’t share, then DropBox might be a better deal.


Confused wrote on April 6th, 2011 at 9:45 AM PST:

When you purchase a new album, you add it to the cloud. You then can download it from the cloud at any time and it remains on the cloud so you can download it again, and again, and again.

Having to upload your previously bought music is such a non-issue – I assume you complain about this to get more words into your blog?

You cannot directly compare amazon cloud to services like MOG – they are two different things. Amazon cloud is a storage service (you can store anything, not just music) that also let’s you play _your_ music. MOG is a service which only let’s you stream _their_ music.

You say there is “no offline mode” but that’s just a moronic statement. Your offline mode is downloading your music to your local device for when you can’t stream from the internet. It’s the same as any other services “offline” mode or even better because the amount you can have offline is only limited by your local storage capacity – other services have limits.

Uploading “gigabytes” to amazon cloud is simple and requires mere minutes of your time.


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Eugenia wrote on April 6th, 2011 at 10:50 AM PST:

>You then can download it from the cloud at any time

Why would I want to do it this way though? I want to save it on both!

>upload your previously bought music is such a non-issue

IT IS A BIG issue when you have 150 GBs of music. Comcast will cut me off in no time seeing such an upload in their logs!

>I assume you complain about this to get more words into your blog?

What?

>services like MOG – they are two different things.

Sure they are. But for my kind of usage, it makes more sense.

>“no offline mode” but that’s just a moronic statement.

Really? You find it moronic to want to have more than 3 hours of battery life?

>Uploading “gigabytes” to amazon cloud is simple and requires mere minutes of your time.

I think you’re the moron here. It would take me DAYS to upload my music on Amazon at 120 KB/sec that Comcast is throttling at after a while.


Confused wrote on April 6th, 2011 at 11:28 AM PST:

Eugenia – I don’t understand how you can miss so many points.

Your blog suggested you could not have it in the cloud and locally – that is wrong. “If you must download to your PC (as I do), and later want to have it on your cloud drive as well, you have to manually upload it! This is stupid.” You now have your mp3 “saved on both”.

Comcast will not cut you off unless you have some weird plan with them. There is a reason they throttle upload so much. 150G will take you a LONG time to upload (one time) but Comcast will not care.

Just because MOG makes more sense for your kind of usage doesn’t mean Amazon Cloud has a deficiency.

Regarding offline mode, you seem to have no read what I wrote. There *is* an offline mode. They are your mp3s. Just download them locally and play them through your phones music player instead of using the amazon cloud app. Why do you keep harping on battery life when you’re not streaming anything?

And finally, regarding the upload, you’ve missed the point again. I said uploading all your music will take minutes of your time. That is, it will only take you a few minutes to select your library and click upload. The actual upload process will obviously take hours but you don’t sit there and watch it. Or do you?


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Eugenia wrote on April 6th, 2011 at 1:14 PM PST:

>You now have your mp3 “saved on both”.

This is not how the UI shows you that it works. It gives you a CHOICE between the two. If I was to download on the cloud, and THEN download it, this is still TWO things I have to do, not one. Plus, this is not clear at all.

>Comcast will not cut you off unless you have some weird plan with them.

Comcast has a cap at 250 GB per month. This is KNOWN FACT. I use about 150 GB per month of bandwidth for Netflix, so that’s not enough.

>There *is* an offline mode. They are your mp3s.

NO, this is NOT how I want to do it. This is not how MOG/RDIO do it either, which is the way I prefer it. I don’t want to have to manually go to my gazillions of folders of mp3s and copy/paste MANUALLY. I want to be able to CHECK in a GUI app which albums or songs to go to offline mode. RDIO/MOG have this ability. Amazon doesn’t. With Amazon I have to go to Windows Explorer and go through THOUSANDS of songs that live in their own folders and subfolders! This is NOT convenient.

>you don’t sit there and watch it. Or do you?

I don’t, but as I said, I want Amazon to save on BOTH AUTOMATICALLY, and I want it to RECOGNIZE my PAST purchases AUTOMATICALLY. I don’t want to have to upload them! It’s TOO MUCH data to upload.


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