Amazon’s iPad-optimized Player And Storage Upgrades Will Compete With Apple’s iCloud


This year Amazon released its Cloud Player and Cloud Drive services that allow users to store music and other media data on Amazon’s servers and access them from different devices connected to the Internet. After Apple announced iCloud last month, some showed an interest in Amazon tweaking its products to keep with iCloud.

As a response to this Amazon announced some changes on Wednesday: expansion of the music storage capabilities of its Cloud Drive service and the release of an iPad-optimized Cloud Player. Below are some specific changes:

- Unlimited music storage capability with any price plan: Users, who sign up any paid plan, including the lowest price plan with $20 a year for 20GB, are automatically allowed to use unlimited space for music in ACC and MP3 formats. Storage space for other content such as documents and photos remains full paid. This offering is valid for a limited time.

- Storage of all Amazon MP3 Store purchases for free: The offerings is most applicable for users wanting to stick with free 5GB plan. Amazon offer possibility to store all past and future purchases in Amazon MP3 Store for free and without counting this storage space in 5GB limit.

- Cloud Player designed for iPad: Amazon has released an iPad-optimized player used for music stored via the Cloud Drive. Lacking of official support for iOS devices, Amazon’s Cloud Player was not fully functional. But now with new changes its usability for iPad customers was significantly increased.

The iCloud’s component supporting iTunes in the Cloud is only partially active, making it possible for users to automatically download newly-bought content to all devices with iCloud available and to redownload previously-bought content in the iTunes Store. The fully functional iCloud service is planned to be released later this year, and will offer users 5GB of free storage, without counting towards purchased music, books, apps, and Photo Streams. Additional storage space can be used for not yet announced prices.

Along with full iCloud launch, the debut of iTunes Match is expected, which is a service for $24.99 a year that will enable users to store their whole music collection in the cloud service for syncing across devices, either by uploading into the cloud or by matching tracks of iTunes Store.

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