Amazon Cloud Player Outsmarts The Music Industry

It’s not even 24 hours after the official release of Amazon Cloud Player and Amazon is immediately being hit by the major music companies saying that this cloud player breaks their copyright holds on the music. It seems that, almost as immediately as these accusations have surfaced, Amazon is ready with a rebuttal.

“Cloud Player is an application that lets customers manage and play their own music. It’s like any number of existing media management applications. We do not need a license to make Cloud Player available.” Amazon spokesperson Cat Griffin said. The original download licenses should still apply and no new licenses are necessary — this is a seemingly logical conclusion that the record industry disagrees with.

This Cloud Drive and Cloud Player service, released yesterday, offers US-based Amazon customers 5 GB of free online storage to use for whatever they want. If they buy an album from Amazon MP3, they get an extra bonus of 20 GB of storage for the year. All Amazon MP3 purchases are automatically synced to the user’s Cloud Drive without going against their storage limit. Users can only stream their music by the Cloud Player Android or Web-based app. They — and only they — are only allowed to stream their music that they upload.

I wondered how Amazon managed to land a deal with record labels to license the music, given that Apple is trying to do the same thing and it is taking it time to work out the details. But, after a little digging, it seems that Amazon hasn’t made any deals with the record companies.

“The functionality of saving MP3s to Cloud Drive is the same as if a customer were to save their music to an external hard drive or even iTunes.” Cat Griffin said in a statement, which is true when only one customer has access to a drive and it is not public. It seems to be a valid argument.

The music industry seems to disagree with everything that Amazon is saying. With regards to Cloud Player, it doesn’t like how it operates. The licensing companies say that they are keeping their legal options open and hoping to strike a licensing deal with Amazon.

“I’ve never seen a company of its size make an announcement, launch a service, and simultaneously say it’s trying to get licenses,” the anonymous exec said. It seems that Amazon was allegedly starting to address licensing issues but instead of making those agreements it put it off to the side and never came back to the issue.

EMI, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music have not made any public statement at this time. So it is unclear if Amazon secured any rights before launching. But, based on Amazon’s comments, it does not seem that Amazon is currently holding any licenses with the record labels.

Amazon has seemed to call the music industry’s bluff that new licenses are necessary when users stream their own music, and this definitely won’t be the last we hear of it.

How To Stream Music To Your Phone From Anywhere With Amazon Cloud Sync

Amazon has made it easier than ever to access your music from anywhere. With its new Cloud Player, users can sync their music from their computer to Amazon’s cloud and then stream or download it back from any PC or an Android phone — anywhere someone might happen to be.
Start by heading over to Amazon’s Cloud Player home page, signing up for an account if you don’t already have one, and downloading the MP3 Uploader. Once you have the MP3 Uploader installed on your computer, you are ready to sync music to your cloud drive. Users start out with 5GB of storage, and you can get an additional 15GB to bring your total up to 20 if you simply buy a single album from the Amazon MP3 store. As an added bonus, any songs or albums you buy from the store will automatically appear on your cloud drive, and they will not count towards your storage allowance. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me.
If you’re not interested in paying for music from Amazon, you can also buy additional storage to hold your whole library. Prices are reasonable, and run a dollar a year per gigabyte. You can buy 20/50/100/200/500/1000 GBs of storage, all billed on an annual basis. Even those with gigantic collections will be able to hold everything with the high end of these plans.
Follow along to learn how to get your music to the cloud and play it back on your Android phone:

  1. Install Amazon MP3 Downloader.
  2. Launch the Amazon Cloud Player in your Browser
  3. Click Upload to your Cloud Drive and Amazon MP3 Uploader will launch and start scanning your computer for music files.
  4. Once it finishes, you can fine-tune what you’d like to upload if your collection is too big for the amount of storage you have. Click the + icon next to “All Music” to expand, and uncheck any artists or albums that you don’t want to upload.
  5. Click Start Upload and Amazon will start uploading your music to the cloud.

Playing your music back on your phone
Once you have uploaded all your music to Amazon’s servers, you can play it back from anywhere on your phone via 3G or Wi-Fi.

  1. Download and open the Amazon MP3 app from the Market.
  2. Click “Player” to load the Amazon Cloud Player
  3. Tap “Cloud Drive Music” and log in to your Amazon account
  4. The music you uploaded in the steps above will be visible, and you can stream it anywhere you have a solid 3G or Wi-Fi connection.

Amazon is really raising the bar with this service, finally making it virtually effortless to have your music floating around in the cloud rather than shackled to your phone’s SD card. Keep in mind that constant 3G music streaming will be quite taxing on your battery, however, so it would probably still be a good idea to have some tunes stored on your phone itself.

Amazon Cloud Player Launches To Bring Your Music Into The Cloud

Right after Amazon releases its own app store, it is back again to announce Amazon Cloud Player, an easy way to listen to your own music on-the-go from any device. Using the cloud, users can upload up to 5GB of music and play them on the Web or any Android device.

The new Amazon Cloud Player adds a new button to the purchase page for MP3s that says, “Save to Amazon Cloud Drive,” as well as the ability to upload music from your hard drive to the Amazon Cloud Drive. Initially, users are given 5GB of free storage, which should be enough for hours of music to upload but if a user purchases an album on Amazon, that storage is bumped up to 20GB and if a user needs more space, they can pay $1 per GB per year for the additional space. Files purchased from Amazon don’t count against that total.

Currently the Amazon Cloud Player will come in two version: a Web version and an Android app. Both players allow listeners to upload their music, organize music, and create playlists. Because all of this is running on the Amazon Cloud Storage network, users can access their music anywhere on any compatible computer or Android device.

The only closely related service to Amazon Cloud Drive is Grooveshark, which allows you to upload music from your computer, but Amazon has many advantages over that service — including an MP3 store and very well-known payment system, it is a more recognizable brand over any other similar service.

There are a number of other similar services, like MP3Tunes, and even Microsoft Mesh which lets you access your media from Windows Phone, Desktop, or Mac, and auto populates with content from your Zune/Xbox Live Market Place

Both Google and Apple have rumors about their own cloud-based players and storage, but Amazon beat them and got theirs out first. Amazon Cloud Player is in still water now, as it is the only one of its kind, but with the upcoming release of Google and Apple’s products, it will face some stiff competition in the future; Google rules Android and Apple controls iPhone and iTunes. It will be a rocky ship for Amazon.