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As widely rumored over the last few days, Amazon has officially launched their cloud-based music storage service, appropriately enough titled Amazon Cloud Player. Unfortunately, the service leaves iOS users behind (for now), concentrating on the web and Android-based devices.
Amazon one-upped competitors Apple and Google by launching Amazon Cloud Player in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. The new service is intended to encourage more Amazon MP3 music sales, given that new purchases are stored for free and don’t count against your quota.
And a generous quota it is: Amazon Cloud Player customers start with 5GB of storage for free, but for a limited time you can purchase just one MP3 album purchase and get a free upgrade to 20GB of storage for your first year. The service is free, but the company is also offering the paid Amazon Cloud Drive service which offers plans from 20GB ($20 per year) all the way up to 1TB ($1000 per year).
So how do you get your music files onto Amazon Cloud Player? The company has created a Mac and Windows application called Amazon MP3 Uploader, which can be downloaded from their website in seconds. The program immediately accesses your iTunes (or Windows Media Player for Windows) library, where you can choose which tracks or playlists to upload.
Needless to say, older tracks with DRM won’t work, and .wma files are also a no-go. Anything else that’s MP3 or AAC will work just fine, as long as the file size isn’t over 100MB -- with the exception of ringtones, podcasts, audiobooks and “other non-music” audio files, whatever those might be.
There’s just one caveat for Mac users, and it’s kind of a big one for now: Amazon Cloud Player is currently limited to a web browser or Android app -- there’s no iOS app to access your files as of this moment. We’re guessing that will change in the future, given how prolific Amazon has been with iOS apps.
Amazon has posted an extensive “getting started” page for Amazon Cloud Player on their website, so you can give the service a test drive today. Apple and Google: Your move, mates.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter