Robert Chesley

Amazon Cloud Player – Review

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There has been a lot of pushing towards media playback on “the cloud.” There are a lot of pros and cons to this. One of the best places on the net to purchase, well practically anything, is the Amazon market. Amazon recently launched their “Cloud Music Player” that also doubles as “cloud storage” as well. How well does it do? Well thats what I’ve been determined to find out.

Cloud music has come a long way. Now, everyone has an iOS or Android powered smart phone. People are taking their netbooks and laptops everywhere. And now, tablets are pushing the envelope of what it means to have a mobile computing device. Enter the Amazon Cloud Music Player. What if you can just stream all your music without ever having to worry about hard drives failing or iPods crashing? I mean, wouldn’t you like one less thing hanging out in that precious little space you need in your pockets?

I love streaming music from the cloud. I’m a huge fan of stuff like Pandora or Last.Fm for playing music. Unfortunately, those services while good at “discovering” new music, has a hard time of playing all your particular favorite songs. I also want to preface this with, I love my iPod. There was a time where I wouldn’t leave my house without it. It acted as a mini-hard drive, music and movie player all in one. I think I can safely say however, that I will never buy another iPod again.

There are multiple tiers that you can buy on a yearly basis that Amazon offers. I’ll probably eventually settle for the 50 GB plan for $50.00 a year. Future stuff that you buy on the Amazon MP3 Marketplace does not count against your GB count. It is essentially everything you buy from now forward is stored “for free” in your cloud music player. Unfortunately, everything you may have already purchased from Amazon (I personally have about 20 GB of music I’ve purchased from them), does count. I understand that this makes a lot of sense, I mean they didn’t “future proof” your purchases in the beginning, and this is a way to insure that you’ll upgrade to a “pay plan” yearly if you like the service so much. I still think it wouldn’t of been too much of a hassle to look at your past MP3 purchases and make those available in the cloud for free.

All your music, wherever you are. I don’t know about you but I’m really excited about streaming my music from my phone and carrying one less device around with me.
New purchases don’t count against GB cap. A really slick move that makes all those amazing deals at Amazon even better.
The best compliment to the best online music store. I love how Amazon discounts albums. There is usually at least one or two albums a month in the “5 dollar bin” that I could see myself buying. I’m not the only one.
The best way to backup all of your files, not just your MP3s. I can’t tell you how invaluable something like this would have been in the past. Not only can you “redownload” all your music you keep on the cloud, you can put pictures or other essential files up there too so when you have to inevitably reinstall an OS, you can get back your most needed programs and files quicker.

Old Amazon MP3 purchases still count against your cap. This should have been an easily fixable “problem”, but Amazon choose to avoid it.
Uploading takes a huge amount of time, even with a good connection. The uploader isn’t the finest.
Doesn’t play nice with iOS. I haven’t personally checked this out, but I’ve heard of some minor issues involving iOS devices.
Pretty basic music player. As a music player, it is kind of average. You don’t get a “genius” button and it doesn’t really innovate in that area as much as I would have liked to see.

Bottom line, if you’re like me who regularly buys albums from Amazon, uploading all your tunes to the cloud may be the best way to go. Even if you only use it for future purchases, this is one free app that is highly recommended. The only people I wouldn’t suggest this to is if you have more than 50 GB of music you want to upload to the cloud. After 50 GB the price per year is more than double, at 50 GB a year you spend about $50 a year to store it. Which is comparable to most other online radio subscriptions. If you are a huge fan of iTunes or have a ton of music stored locally, this may not be for you. I like that I can stream all my music when I’m at work without having to carry around an additional device. I’ve also had iPods, computers, and hard drives crash taking the majority of my music with them time and time again. This will solve a lot of those issues for me.

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