Amazon preempts Apple with cloud-based music service for Web and Android

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Amazon upped the ante in its fierce rivalry with Apple over control of the digital music market, with the introduction of a Cloud Drive digital locker and a Cloud Player service that offers streaming music via the Web and Android devices.



The Seattle, Wash.-based online retail giant unveiled the new cloud services late Monday. The services are available for U.S. customers only.



?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,? Bill Carr, Amazon?s vice president of movies and music at Amazon, said in a statement. ?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.?



The Amazon Cloud Drive service offers customers 5GB of free online storage, with premium accounts expandable up to 1000GB. Additionally, customers who purchase an MP3 album will be entitled to 20GB of storage for one year. New Amazon MP3 store purchases can be automatically added to Cloud Drive without counting toward total storage space.



The service accepts music purchased from iTunes, provided that the files are DRM-free. Apple removed DRM from iTunes music purchases in 2009.



Amazon Cloud Player is available either via the Web or on devices running Google's Android mobile operating system. The web player does not, however, support Apple's Mobile Safari on iOS devices.







Amazon's partnership with Google Android reflects an uneasy alliance against Apple, which established an early lead in the digital music and smartphone markets. Last week, the online retailer launched "Appstore for Android," a digital download service that will compete with both Apple's App Store and Google's Marketplace. A day before Amazon launched the service, Apple sued Amazon to protect its "App Store" trademark.







Google is also rumored to be working on its own digital song locker and music store service.



For its part, Apple has expressed interest in moving toward a streaming media solution, but has reportedly been held up in negotiations with record labels. In late 2009, the company purchased streaming music service LaLa, stoking speculation that Apple was preparing for iTunes in the cloud. An Apple-branded version of LaLa failed to materialize and the Cupertino, Calif., iPod maker shuttered the service in May 2010.



Apple transitioned the Apple TV to a streaming model last year when it introduced a $99 redesigned version of the set top box. The device launched alongside a new $.99 TV show rental option.



Recent rumors have suggested that a "major revamp" of Apple's iOS slated for this fall will add significant cloud-based services.



Apple has been busy putting the infrastructure into place for cloud services, investing more than $1 billion in a 500,000 square-foot data center that will support iTunes and MobileMe services. The server farm has experienced delays, however, and is expected to open this spring.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 129
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    And it not work with iOS device.
  • Reply 2 of 129
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Does this work in any local or server-side browser for Mobile Safari?
  • Reply 3 of 129
    pmoeserpmoeser Posts: 79member
    They somehow seem to think that by agreeing to streaming music terms with another Apple competitor it will loosen Apple's "stranglehold" on their industry. It worked so well for them offering DRM free music once before...



    What they have done is ensure that the whatever-million number of iOS users can't give them any money



    How happy are the artists they "represent" with this decision?



    Frankly, I don't care for streaming. All I want to be able to do is to access my music like I can access my Apps. If it's not on my device when I leave home, I can simply download it again as I have already paid for it
  • Reply 4 of 129
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Does this work in any local or server-side browser for Mobile Safari?



    Not sure what you mean. I'm not a Mac guy. But TechCrunch reported it not work with iOS. Can't play music. (also can't upload because of Flash)
  • Reply 5 of 129
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmoeser View Post


    They somehow seem to think that by agreeing to streaming music terms with another Apple competitor it will loosen Apple's "stranglehold" on their industry. It worked so well for them offering DRM free music once before...



    What they have done is ensure that the whatever-million number of iOS users can't give them any money



    How happy are the artists they "represent" with this decision?



    Frankly, I don't care for streaming. All I want to be able to do is to access my music like I can access my Apps. If it's not on my device when I leave home, I can simply download it again as I have already paid for it



    You don't suppose Apple could have exactly the same deal but wants to pay less?
  • Reply 6 of 129
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    And it not work with iOS device.



    It uses the amazonMP3 application with Android, which is also amazon's music storefront. Somehow I doubt Apple would approve an app from Amazon that allowed them to download music to iOS devices without going through itunes.
  • Reply 7 of 129
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    I wonder if there is an iOS version in the works (it takes a little time for apps to be approved for the appstore) or will Apple block this as songs are bought from Amazon rather than using Apple's in-app purchase system?
  • Reply 8 of 129
    madivanmadivan Posts: 45member
    From the Amazon terms of service:



    5.2 Our Right to Access Your Files. You give us the right to access, retain, use and disclose your account information and Your Files: to provide you with technical support and address technical issues; to investigate compliance with the terms of this Agreement, enforce the terms of this Agreement and protect the Service and its users from fraud or security threats; or as we determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law.



    5.3 Security. We do not guarantee that Your Files will not be subject to misappropriation, loss or damage and we will not be liable if they are. You’re responsible for maintaining appropriate security, protection and backup of Your Files.



    5.4 Limits, Changes and Cancellation. Service Plans are subject to storage capacity limits. If you exceed your storage limit, restrictions will be placed on your use of the Service until you either remove enough of Your Files to come within your storage limit or upgrade Your Service Plan to a plan with enough storage capacity. We reserve the right to impose other limits on use of the Service. We may also restrict your access to the Service if we determine that your use of the Service violates this Agreement or substantially exceeds normal use by other users. Improper or excessive use may also result in termination of your use of the Service. We may change the Service, or any part of it, or end the Service, or any part of it, either temporarily or permanently, at any time, with or without prior notice to you. We will not be liable for any damage or loss (including any loss of data or profits) or any other consequences that you may incur as a result of any restrictions on your use of the Service or your inability to access and use the Service.





    NO THANK YOU
  • Reply 9 of 129
    pmoeserpmoeser Posts: 79member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post


    You don't suppose Apple could have exactly the same deal but wants to pay less?



    Maybe. But I think Apple have shown that they have created an infrastructure that has enabled their hardware customers to have a simple to use model to create a culture where people are willing to pay for content. Prior to this model, file sharing was increasing it's "market share".



    This has created an economy of scale that has reaped dividends for both producers and consumers. Ask quality App developers.



    I would guess that Apple has been arguing for the same rights to music content as Apps.
  • Reply 10 of 129
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Well now that Android (at this stage) is a proprietary, closed source operating system licensed in backrooms to unknown entities, I'd say good for Amazon...



    In other words, PFFFFFT
  • Reply 11 of 129
    If it's US only then who gives a rats arse.
  • Reply 12 of 129
    pmoeserpmoeser Posts: 79member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Orlando View Post


    I wonder if there is an iOS version in the works (it takes a little time for apps to be approved for the appstore) or will Apple block this as songs are bought from Amazon rather than using Apple's in-app purchase system?



    As long as Apple get their 30% I would think they would approve it
  • Reply 13 of 129
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmoeser View Post


    As long as Apple get their 30% I would think they would approve it



    But can you really see Amazon giving Apple 30% of each song purchase? When you buy a song from iTunes I believe that Apple gets a lot less than 30%. Amazon probably received a similar deal from the record companies so Amazon cannot give Apple a 30% cut without making a loss on each sale (or having to raise the price significantly).
  • Reply 14 of 129
    h0mih0mi Posts: 4member
    I've been playing with this for about 10 minutes and my first impression is that multiple account households are going to have a tough time with this. The uploading software doesn't allow you to switch accounts- you have to launch the uploader from the different account in a browser to change accounts. But once you've put content in the cloud... well I haven't gotten that far yet.



    This would make me seriously consider an android device though.
  • Reply 15 of 129
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    Apple have been sitting on their asses with lala, the nc data center and mobileme. Amidst rumors of free mm and retraction of mm retail boxes, we are paying a pretty hefty sum for a very limited service. Amidst rumors of a data center, we are still getting pretty mediocre performance from mm. Amidst rumors of a cloud music service we still have to swap songs/audiobooks/podcasts/movies in our ipads because there's no damn space to put them there. Not even some provision of cloud storage for the media we buy via itunes.



    Anyone who likes apple, has to see this as their biggest blind spot, they are leading everywhere else and trailing pathetically in the cloud domain.



    They better get moving, because it's not just that the comp is catching up here, it's leaving them behind, and they are marring the whole ecosystem by being very hesitant, very lackluster, and very unproductive in anything to do with the cloud.



    A real shame.
  • Reply 16 of 129
    kfury77kfury77 Posts: 44member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    Apple have been sitting on their asses with lala, the nc data center and mobileme. Amidst rumors of free mm and retraction of mm retail boxes, we are paying a pretty hefty sum for a very limited service. Amidst rumors of a data center, we are still getting pretty mediocre performance from mm. Amidst rumors of a cloud music service we still have to swap songs/audiobooks/podcasts/movies in our ipads because there's no damn space to put them there. Not even some provision of cloud storage for the media we buy via itunes.



    Anyone who likes apple, has to see this as their biggest blind spot, they are leading everywhere else and trailing pathetically in the cloud domain.



    They better get moving, because it's not just that the comp is catching up here, it's leaving them behind, and they are marring the whole ecosystem by being very hesitant, very lackluster, and very unproductive in anything to do with the cloud.



    A real shame.



    I agree with you... however I think we will (finally!) see the fruits of Apple's labour very soon... next month I would imagine we'll see the revamped MobileMe service with cloud storage and music streaming etc.
  • Reply 17 of 129
    nondualnondual Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmoeser View Post


    They somehow seem to think that by agreeing to streaming music terms with another Apple competitor it will loosen Apple's "stranglehold" on their industry. It worked so well for them offering DRM free music once before...



    What they have done is ensure that the whatever-million number of iOS users can't give them any money



    How happy are the artists they "represent" with this decision?



    Frankly, I don't care for streaming. All I want to be able to do is to access my music like I can access my Apps. If it's not on my device when I leave home, I can simply download it again as I have already paid for it



    Every Android user I know just steals their music using one of the many apps available to do this for Android.



    If they were interested in PAYING for music, apps, etc - they probably wouldn't get an Android phone.
  • Reply 18 of 129
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,282member
    I see they went out of their way to try to make the ad look as cool as possible by showing a Macbook Pro and an external monitor to represent the WEB LOOK.



    Amazon didn't want to use Linux or Windows?
  • Reply 19 of 129
    kfury77kfury77 Posts: 44member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MadIvan View Post


    From the Amazon terms of service:



    5.2 Our Right to Access Your Files. You give us the right to access, retain, use and disclose your account information and Your Files: to provide you with technical support and address technical issues; to investigate compliance with the terms of this Agreement, enforce the terms of this Agreement and protect the Service and its users from fraud or security threats; or as we determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law.



    5.3 Security. We do not guarantee that Your Files will not be subject to misappropriation, loss or damage and we will not be liable if they are. You?re responsible for maintaining appropriate security, protection and backup of Your Files.



    5.4 Limits, Changes and Cancellation. Service Plans are subject to storage capacity limits. If you exceed your storage limit, restrictions will be placed on your use of the Service until you either remove enough of Your Files to come within your storage limit or upgrade Your Service Plan to a plan with enough storage capacity. We reserve the right to impose other limits on use of the Service. We may also restrict your access to the Service if we determine that your use of the Service violates this Agreement or substantially exceeds normal use by other users. Improper or excessive use may also result in termination of your use of the Service. We may change the Service, or any part of it, or end the Service, or any part of it, either temporarily or permanently, at any time, with or without prior notice to you. We will not be liable for any damage or loss (including any loss of data or profits) or any other consequences that you may incur as a result of any restrictions on your use of the Service or your inability to access and use the Service.





    NO THANK YOU





    You don't think Apple will have something very similar? It's there to stop end-users abusing the system. Uploading illegal content and sharing the links with others and streaming non-stop 24/7. If you are using the system "normally" then you won't run into any trouble.
  • Reply 20 of 129
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,282member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    Apple have been sitting on their asses with lala, the nc data center and mobileme. Amidst rumors of free mm and retraction of mm retail boxes, we are paying a pretty hefty sum for a very limited service. Amidst rumors of a data center, we are still getting pretty mediocre performance from mm. Amidst rumors of a cloud music service we still have to swap songs/audiobooks/podcasts/movies in our ipads because there's no damn space to put them there. Not even some provision of cloud storage for the media we buy via itunes.



    Anyone who likes apple, has to see this as their biggest blind spot, they are leading everywhere else and trailing pathetically in the cloud domain.



    They better get moving, because it's not just that the comp is catching up here, it's leaving them behind, and they are marring the whole ecosystem by being very hesitant, very lackluster, and very unproductive in anything to do with the cloud.



    A real shame.



    The shame is all on you, due to your ignorance. You seem to have this fantasy in your head that Apple is missing an opportunity and thus squandering their purchases and IP.



    Thanks for reminding me how very rare it is for consumers to understand Apple's businesses.
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