Digital Top Stories

Amazon launches digital-locker cloud-player whatnot

By | Published on Tuesday 29 March 2011

Amazon MP3

So, Amazon is the first major player to arrive at the digital-locker cloud-player party.

With Apple and Google both thought to be rushing their own digital-locker services to market, Amazon in the US has announced it is launching the very same service. Users will be able to upload MP3s to Amazon’s servers and then play them through a web-browser on most net-connected devices. There’ll be a fee for the service, though existing Amazon account holders will get some freebies.

Amazon’s Bill Carr told reporters: “We’re excited to take this leap forward in the digital experience. The launch of Cloud Drive, Cloud Player for Web and Cloud Player for Android eliminates the need for constant software updates as well as the use of thumb drives and cables to move and manage music. Our customers have told us they don’t want to download music to their work computers or phones because they find it hard to move music around to different devices. Now, whether at work, home, or on the go, customers can buy music from Amazon MP3, store it in the cloud and play it anywhere”.

Of course, digital lockers are not new, and many such lockers already on the market – including those offered by Apple and Google – already allow you to store music files and move them between devices. The innovation, though, is that these new services come with a user-friendly ‘cloud-player’ making it easier to access, organise and play music stored remotely. Even that kind of service isn’t especially new, services such as MP3tunes have been around for sometime, though this is the first time a major web firm has moved into this market.

It’s not clear if Amazon has agreements in place with the record companies and music publishers regarding its new service. As previously reported, many label execs are nervous of digital locker propositions, and are uncertain on what sort of royalties to charge – especially as some argue digital lockers don’t actually need a license to operate.