ONLINE RETAILER Amazon has unveiled a data locker service, promoting it as a way to access music on many devices.
Amazon already has a cloud datacentre business and is using part of that for its Amazon Cloud Drive. The service allows users to store their music and play it on Android devices through the Cloud Player application and on other devices through a web browser. The company says that any purchases made through its music store can be stored directly onto the user's Cloud Drive.
Initially Amazon will give customers 5GB of storage space, though this will be upgraded to 20GB if an album is purchased from Amazon's MP3 store. The firm added that music purchased from its MP3 store and left on the Cloud Drive will not count towards the user's quota.
The ability to store music in the cloud, says Amazon, "eliminates the need for constant software updates as well as the use of thumb drives and cables to move and manage music". The company added that the system supports music in MP3 and AAC formats and is not encoded when uploaded to its cloud storage.
Aside from offering access through most popular web browsers, Amazon has bundled Cloud Player, an Android application available from its Amazon MP3 Store. Essentially the application allows users to manage and play music stored on their Cloud Drive accounts.
Although Amazon promoted the ability to share music among many devices with the Cloud Drive, the service also supports other types of data including videos, photos and documents with no restrictions on file types.
The Cloud Drive is Amazon's latest push to bring its cloud services to the consumer. Firms such as Dropbox have enjoyed considerable success by offering similar services, in particular to Android and IOS devices. However Amazon's mainstream appeal might give it an advantage among consumers. µ
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