Amazon Cloud Drive Showers you with Free Storage for Your Music, Documents, Photos and Videos #clouddrive #cloudplayer

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Amazon has just launched “Amazon Cloud Player” (www.amazon.com/cloudplayer) which allows you to upload, store and play your favorite music tunes right from the new Amazon Cloud Drive service (www.amazon.com/clouddrive). Now, you can access and play your music right from the Amazon Cloud Player (web app) or on your Android phone (get free Android app here – requires Android version 1.6 or higher).

In a nutshell, Amazon has just deployed a FREE*, simple-to-use cloud storage solution for not only your music collection, but also your documents, photos and videos. The entry level Amazon Cloud Drive account gets you 5 GB of free* storage. Later in this post, I will tell you how you can get 20GB of free* storage.

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Personally, I love that I can now access my data, photos, videos and music all from the cloud via multiple devices that are located throughout our house, under the couch, our cars, our offices.; oh, and each is running different operating systems. Cloud Drive Here’s a screenshot below of my brand new Amazon Cloud Drive. Notice that there are pre-configured folders already there for you to start uploading and storing your Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos.  How cool is that? So this Cloud Drive is NOT just for music. You get Amazon’s free* Cloud Drive storage space for multiple kinds of content. For years, I’ve been using Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service S3) cloud storage for my own personal, offsite backup storage and love it. I use Jungle Disk desktop software to manage it all, which looks a lot like this new web app below. So this new Cloud Drive offering is a fantastic solution, very impressive and highly useful as it’s accessible via the web.

Cloud Player for Live Music Streaming on your Android device or Computer’s Web Browser So now that you know about the new Cloud Drive storage service, let’s look at the Cloud Player which is accessible via web browser: http://www.amazon.com/cloudplayer or via your Android device (smartphone or tablet). Now, you can easily access your Cloud Drive music from multiple devices at the same time (except I’m hearing that it does not work on the Safari browser, per MG Siegler’s TechCrunch post).

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Via web browser on my Dell Laptop

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The Android ecosystem just got a lot bigger. Amazon just put a huge stake down in the ground and established itself as the first personal cloud storage service that provides you with 24/7 live streaming of your stored music from the web or your Android phone. Oh, and it’s free*. And it’s not stuck in a proprietary desktop application.

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Cables vs. Cloud We all know the drill: you get super excited about some cool new music you just heard *live* at SXSW, you quickly Google the band/song info, then go download the new music onto your computer’s music player; wait… where’s that stupid sync cable?! …ok, you finally found the cable under the couch just before your cat chewed off the plug (phew!). Then you then run back to your computer to attempt a ‘sync’ of the music to your smartphone and also go copy that 1 song across all your other computers and mobile devices all so you can be sure to find it later when you want to hear it (yea right) … what a mess.

This conundrum of managing music across multiple devices has been vexing the mobile generation for some time now. There are a number of rumors circulating on the ‘net about supposed, futuristic music storage services, music “lockers”, MobileX personal cloud/sync services, etc. that all promise this type of seamless and easy-to-use cloud storage solution, but none have yet come to life. That’s why last  year I finally gave up on buying, storing, organizing, syncing, copying and managing my own music (not to mention the DRM issues on multiple devices!).  To simplify things and save my sanity, I just went with Pandora for live streaming of music on demand, which I love –don’t get me wrong– however, this really wasn’t an ideal solution since I don’t have *my* own music collection on Pandora. So, my music collection was pretty much forgotten and only collecting dust.

So Amazon’s new Cloud Drive and matching Cloud Player solution, which integrates nicely with the accompanying Android app, now allows you to put your music in the cloud (yay!) and play it whenever and wherever you want; whether that be on your work laptop, your personal laptop, your Android tablet on the coffee table, or your new brand new Android smartphone… you get the idea.  Finally, no more stupid sync’ing and endless copying of files and trying to manage all those cumbersome music collections, chewed-up cables and lost devices!  Now, you can just upload music right to Amazon Cloud Player (or buy MP3s on Amazon for even faster access) and that’s it… just start enjoying the freedom of YOUR music, on demand from the cloud, wherever you want… nice!  Of course, this cloud service probably won’t work in Antarctica as you’ll need to have internet access to access the cloud. Sorry polar bears, no cloud drive or cloud player for you! Go get your piece of the Cloud So, now it’s your turn. Go get your piece of the cloud! Amazon’s Cloud Drive makes this whole process dead simple and super easy to use. I think this will convert a lot of folks to the “cloud” once and for all.

When you first get started on Amazon’s new Cloud Drive service, you can immediately access the 5 GB of free* storage. However, if you’ve got mounds of music to upload, like I do, then go for the promotional deal and get the 20GB account for free* when you purchase an album on Amazon’s MP3 store site* (there’s a bunch of $5 albums they have for you to choose from). Of course, there’s always more storage and pricing options* you can choose instead to store even more stuff in the cloud; you know, for all of your music that’s currently stuck on your computer’s hard drive, that pen drive rolling around under your car seat for two years, your old cracked MP3 player and your bright, shiny new smartphone.

Remember, this isn’t JUST for music. You can also upload photos, videos and documents. I think some well known music and photo sharing sites will be noticing Amazon’s bold moves today. Personally, I applaud Amazon’s swift, bold move and thank them for being the first to market with this highly useful, cloud-based solution.

Here’s a video from Amazon introducing their new Cloud Drive and Cloud Player services. See Amazon’s full press release.

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Thanks Amazon for liberating music from the shackles of proprietary desktop music software!

So what do you think of this new service from Amazon? Will this get more people interested in the cloud for personal data storage and retrieval? I think this just might do it. Not to mention, the impact this announcement will have on the Android mobile ecosystem, which just got a lot bigger! *See Amazon’s web site for the full details and legal disclaimers regarding their new cloud offerings, mentioned above.