It’s Thursday, July 18, 2024 and 94°F in Austin, Texas

Music on the Cloud

Recently, I discovered Amazon Music, which seems to sell DRM-free high quality MP3 albums at price points that are a little lower than those sold on Apple's iTunes Music Store - I bought an Amazon album for $6.99, which is $3 lower than the $9.99 charged for the same album on iTunes.

As an iPhone user, I had been worried that buying an album outside of the iTunes store would be difficult to manage, as then I would have to convert and upload to my iPhone. I'm happy to say that Amazon made the process easy and automatic with their Amazon MP3 Downloader program. It downloaded the album, saved it, and automatically converted and imported it into my iTunes library. This was all without having to pay extra for DRM-free music.

It also alerted me that it could upload and save my music to their Cloud storage service, and offered a free upgrade to 20GB for a year (from the free 5GB storage level). Seems cloud storage would allow my music to be accessible anywhere from multiple devices over the internet. Later, I learned that reportedly the Amazon player currently doesn't stream using Apple iPhone's Safari browser (although full download would still be possible).

I must admit, that cloud storage has the potential to allow users to access one's music and media content easily from multiple devices. Reportedly both Google and Apple are also looking to provide cloud storage services similar to Amazon's new service.

Anyone who has ever had a hard drive crash, knows that such a storage service could prove invaluable in backing up ones files -- especially content that you've already paid for. The only downside I can see to playing music from the cloud is that streaming could use a large amount of bandwidth, and potentially drain batteries on portable devices. It seems that my iPhone battery drains much quicker when I am listening to music of stations streamed from Pandora.

All in all, any service that provides affordable instant access to music stored on a cloud server would be more than welcome.

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