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Cloud Music Entertainment

Amazon Releases Cloud-Based Music Service 222

Posted by samzenpus
from the aether-tunes dept.
c0lo writes "Right after rumors that Google was preparing to take on iTunes service with a digital music store of its own, Amazon has announced that it's entering the fight with a cloud-based music service of its own. From the article: 'Amazon Cloud Drive is a "personal disk drive in the cloud," while Amazon Cloud Player is, well, a Web-based music player. That's right--Amazon Cloud Drive will be something like Google's rumored digital music locker, a cloud-based storage system for all of your tunes.'"
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Amazon Releases Cloud-Based Music Service

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:31AM (#35651978)

    Because if Amazon doesn't think the music studios are going to push back *HARD* on this, their heads are in the cloud. Here's a relevant quote:

    "We are disappointed that the locker service that Amazon is proposing is unlicensed by Sony Music," a spokeswoman for Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Entertainment told the Journal.

    Considering that Sony will sue people [theregister.co.uk] who even *talk* about putting their IP on the web, you think they're just going to sit back and watch while you allow everyone and his brother to put all their ripped Sony CD's on a web accessible service?

    All I can say is that Amazon (and Google and Apple if they intend to follow up with their rumored similar services) had better lawyer up.

    • by adamchou (993073) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:42AM (#35652146)
      That link has nothing to do with copyright law and I don't even see how that case is at all relevant to Amazon's or Google's service. On top of that, Amazon isn't providing a music sharing service. Its a web based storage service that only you access.

      As for the lawyers, I HIGHLY doubt that any of the RIAA members have the financial balls to take on either Amazon or Google. Besides, if they go after either of the two companies, both companies have the financial means to pursue the case, most likely win the case, and set precedent that would bar the RIAA from ever pulling crap like that again. So I HOPE that the RIAA decides to try to sue.
      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        Its a web based storage service that only you access.

        Yeah, assuming no one every thinks of creating a generic account and then handing out the userid and password to all their friends. And I imagine they will--about 5 seconds after this thing launches.

        • And those people can be rooted out and banned. It should be easy to find accounts that are being logged into from many different IP addresses. If the number of IP addresses passes a certain point, the account could be flagged for review and (if it turns out to be a "generic sharing account") banning.

          Besides, this is only 5GB of storage. You could get a cheap web hosting account and store a lot more music on it for under $10 a month. (Share the cost with your friends and your monthly payment drops.) I'm

          • by idontgno (624372)

            I'm not sure what heuristic you'd propose for "many different IP addresses". My Android phone, running the Amazon MP3 app, would almost certainly my sole use of the music storage capability, and I can guarantee it will show usage from at least two different IP addresses from time to time: one while I'm using 3g data, and one from wireless at home. And if I roam much, the 3g data IP address will change, as will my home IP address (thanks to DHCP from my cable internet provider). And that would just be me, fr

        • So I guess you think CD-R's should be illegal for the same reason?

    • by _|()|\| (159991)

      All I can say is that Amazon ... had better lawyer up.

      Unless it violates their contracts, I'm not sure what the labels can do. I imagine it will be a sticking point when the time comes to renew those contracts.

      There are already plenty of online backup services (including some based on EC2) filled with personal music libraries (including MP3s downloaded from Amazon). I wonder whether the back end employs any kind of de-duplication. Does Amazon use watermarking that would interfere with that?

      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        There are already plenty of online backup services (including some based on EC2) filled with personal music libraries

        Yeah, but this goes a lot further than just an online backup storage drive. It also includes a music player. And they're advertising it specifically as a music service. The studios are going to go apeshit on anything that threatens their stranglehold/monopoly. And this definitely qualifies.

      • by afidel (530433)
        Yes, amazon put a unique ID3v2 tag with your purchase number into your downloaded tracks, though I imagine they could write an intelligent dedupe for that use case.
    • by Eraesr (1629799)
      I don't understand the problem. I assume that the stuff I put in my locker can only be streamed by me? Sure, login credentials can be shared among friends, but is that really Amazon's problem? At most Amazon could put in some anti-sharing measures like only accepting one connection per locker simultaneously.
      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        My.MP3.com [wikipedia.org] tried a similar defense in their legal case [wikipedia.org]. To access music on the service, users had to prove they legally owned the music already on CD. But that defense didn't work. It cost them $53.4 million in damages (which basically bankrupted and destroyed the company).

        In many ways, this is an even tougher case. Because Amazon won't even be requiring users to prove they legally own the music. From the way it's being described, there is nothing to stop you from uploading your pirated MP3's right next to

    • It doesn't have to be.

      Sony, I already paid for the license, just go EFF yourself.

    • Yes, this music industry will push back, just like Napster.

      Just think, they could have controlled the online music industry by now since they owned Napster, instead they gave an entire new industry to Apple. That's just smart management. And remember, those same geniuses are in charge still.

      That's why they get the big money.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Considering that Sony will sue people [theregister.co.uk] who even *talk* about putting their IP on the web, you think they're just going to sit back and watch while you allow everyone and his brother to put all their ripped Sony CD's on a web accessible service?

      At least, the IP they have in their rootkit is safe:by now, all decent AV solutions detect and remove it (maybe there is an idea around?)

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Amazon isn't people. It's a huge corporation with billions behind it AND it moves a lot of Sony Product.

      Add Google and Apple to that and Sony may just have to suck it.

    • While I do think that this kind of service is the future, and that we should be supporting it through any legal trouble in order to pave the way for more similar services to follow, this one sort of sucks - at least for music streaming.

      My main basis for comparison is AudioGalaxy, which has turned into a pretty great application. You install a little helper app on your desktop/server at home and that scans your whole collection, streaming it to your phone or a web client on demand, including transcoding for

    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      All I can say is that Amazon (and Google and Apple if they intend to follow up with their rumored similar services) had better lawyer up.

      They are in a constant state of being "lawyered up". They are at legcon 4 right now.

    • Amazon nut-up to such brinksmanship with all things Sony no longer found on the biggest online retailing website. Sony versus Amazon: who is the dog and who is the tail?
    • by ghjm (8918)

      How could Amazon lawyer up? They're already as lawyered as it is possible to be. If you added one more lawyer to Amazon, they would achieve some sort of singularity and collapse into an infinite void of invention disclosure memos.

  • by dicobalt (1536225) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:36AM (#35652050)
    I prefer my clouds to be in the sky. I also prefer not to go over my 250GB monthly cap.
    • I prefer my clouds to be in the sky. I also prefer not to go over my 250GB monthly cap.

      Not to mention the 250MB or 2GB limits on cell data plans.

  • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:36AM (#35652056) Journal

    I only really listen to streaming music these days, with Spotify and Grooveshark.

    OK, with one exception: Downloading stuff to put on a USB drive for the car radio. But this doesn't really have a place there either.

    • I still download music (and rip CDs to MP3) and don't think I'll use it either. My backup method is 2 1TB external hard drives. I back up all of our files to Drive 1 and then back up Drive 1 to Drive 2. Drive 2 then gets stored "off site" (not in my house) so my data will be safe in the event of fire/theft/etc. The cost of this is much less than Amazon's service. Even 50GB space is $50 a month. 1TB of space (like I have with my USB drives) is $1,000 a month. (I can think of a lot of things I'd do wit

    • I prefer to stream my own music collection at work and in the car. Here's an excellent solution (OSS of course): http://sockso.pu-gh.com/
    • Until you get a Google Music or Amazon Cloudplayer app for your android head unit in your car.

  • If this "personal disk drive in the cloud" is just marketoid bullshit keyword stuffing to describe a system that allows you to download stuff you have licensed from the internet then it is just another online music store. If they are actually streaming the music you licensed to you then it will have the same flaws as all other streaming music services like shoutcast and pandora - your music will be interrupted by lag and/or be riddled with obtrusive advertisements, and probably will only be accessable on ap
    • If this "personal disk drive in the cloud" is just marketoid bullshit keyword stuffing to describe a system that allows you to download stuff you have licensed from the internet then it is just another online music store. If they are actually streaming the music you licensed to you then it will have the same flaws as all other streaming music services like shoutcast and pandora - your music will be interrupted by lag and/or be riddled with obtrusive advertisements, and probably will only be accessable on approved players.

      Not to mention that mysterious gaps in your collection will probably appear the minute Amazon gets squeamish about sexual morality [slashdot.org] or discovers they screwed up the licensing. [slashdot.org]

      • That's possible,

        among the TOS there's something like: You give us the right to access, retain, use and disclose your account information and Your Files to (give assistance, comply with the TOS and the law...)

        Same TOS say you are in charge for the security of your files. That means I'd use the service to store encrypted backups, not mp3 or photos.

    • by Fnord666 (889225)

      If this "personal disk drive in the cloud" is just marketoid bullshit keyword stuffing to describe a system that allows you to download stuff you have licensed from the internet then it is just another online music store. If they are actually streaming the music you licensed to you then it will have the same flaws as all other streaming music services like shoutcast and pandora - your music will be interrupted by lag and/or be riddled with obtrusive advertisements, and probably will only be accessable on approved players. However there is a 3rd prospect, that being Amazon Cloud Drive is a bit of both. In any case, it is not very interesting if you ask me.

      Or, since it is free (up to 5 GB) and you can upload your current music, you could just try it. I'm listening to the SuckerPunch soundtrack right now and so far it my experience has been a 4th prospect: that it will have neither of the issues you describe.

  • I'm still looking, but I don't see any mention of how/if your music is encrpyted on thier servers, and how much they will cooperate/sell your information to the music companies.

    This could be a goldmine for the record companies if the music is stored unencrypted and Amazon provides/sells them access. Both in finding pirated music, and also in market research.

    "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 te

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You know what? if the only price I had to pay was that Amazon 'reported' that I was listening to X song at X time I would be fine with that.

      At least it's another data point of what music people like listening to for the music company. It's also a data point that can't really be corrupted or 'played' like the current data points are.

      Also, don't pull out half a sentence and then use that to build your argument

      " to investigate compliance with the terms of this Agreement" Clearly it has nothing to do with recor

  • by jchawk (127686) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:56AM (#35652346) Homepage Journal

    I'm always distrustful of a large companies managing my music collection. What happens when they can't make a profit and shut the service down? At best I have to deal with retrieving my media, at worst I could potentially lose access to everything.

    Most folks who read slashdot probably have all of the pieces they need to just build this service themselves. Broadband connected computer, iPhone or Android device, 3G or WiFi connection to the remote device or computer.

    If you have a media server at home or just a computer running Windows, OSX or Linux why not consider running Subsonic (http://www.subsonic.org)? Using subsonic I can stream my media to any computer using the in browser player and I with a client for my iPhone (isubms) I can stream to my iPhone over 3G or Wifi.

    I've been using this as my own personal Pandora radio in the car and it works great. The nice part about the client app for my iPhone is it can cache content for when I don't have 3G coverage.

    The total cost for this project was about $20 bucks since I was already paying for broadband and 3G cellphone service. I bought the $10 euro streaming license for subsonic and the $4.99 iPhone app. If you have an Android phone your costs are even cheaper as I believe there is a free client app for Android devices.

    This is the solution I've been looking for... For years!

    I know I sound like an infomercial but no longer having to remember to sync my device and having my entire music collection at my finger tips where ever I am is awesome.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      The same thing you do with ALL YOUR DATA. keep a back up.
      Data loss is data loss; whether is's because you HD went bad, your computer was stolen, or a service shuts down.

      Supporting subsonic means you are supporting Java, and no good can come from that~

      I'll check it out, thanks.

  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @09:06AM (#35652486) Homepage Journal

    Why should you trust them to keep your things?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      They remotely wiped an illegally distributed copy of 1984 and refunded your money. Yo can still get copies of 1984

      I have many reason on why think that was wrong, but keep the facts straight.

      And like no matter where your data is, back it up.

      • They remotely wiped an illegally distributed copy of 1984 and refunded your money.

        Two months after a high school student sued Amazon for removing George Orwell's "1984" from his Kindle e-reader, along with all his notes [pcworld.com], Amazon has settled the lawsuit.

        keep the facts straight.

  • I gave it a spin, since I was buying a new MP3 album anyway. It's easy enough to use and navigate around in. You can sort by artist, genre, album and create play lists, control the volume. A fairly standard music player.

    But my session kept expiring. I wasn't even able to get through three full songs before the session would expire and I'd have to log back in. Which meant starting the song over again.

    The do have an option for uploading music, you have to agree that you have the right to listen to
  • So I sign in with my Amazon ID, then have to go through a CAPTCHA to accept the terms of license.

    I hope this is a one time thing, and not a device to prevent people from automatically uploading content or others writing an app to interface with the player.

    I have never seen such a thing required after already having a relationship with a firm.

    • by AndrewNeo (979708)

      You know, your whole comment could have been voided if you had even tried logging in again. No, it doesn't ask for a captcha again. It's probably to stop bots from signing up a bunch of free accounts.

  • by Tolkien (664315)
    My first thought: Google gets some competition now. Competition is good. :)
  • For U.S. Customers Only It appears that you are attempting to use Amazon Cloud Player from outside the U.S. This service is intended for U.S. customers only. I know there are ways around this, only I never had a need before. iTunes works great in the tiny Asian nation that I download from...
  • If I were just using this for music, it may be worth trying, but if I would decided to store other files, I don't see what makes it better than any other cloud solution. There is no desktop app for exploring the directories and you can only upload files, not whole folders. I would have to set up a folder hierarchy instead of just uploading whole folders that are already arranged how I like them. Besides that, I would personally rather point a music player at some folder that's linked to cloud storage (like
  • When I signed on to the Amazon Cloud Player site I was greeted with:

    For U.S. Customers Only

    It appears that you are attempting to use Amazon Cloud Player from outside the U.S. This service is intended for U.S. customers only.

  • I listen to a lot of newly released music, and buying individual albums simply isn't very efficient. I would much rather use a subscription service and pay $10 a month to listen to however much new music I want. For anyone who listens to a lot of music, it's worth it because I used to spend $100 to $120 a year on CDs anyway. Plus it takes way too much time to organize and sync it all. Just not worth the hassle of dealing with files imho.

  • I have been gorging on free music for more than a decade now. From day one I've been paritcularly picky about what I bothered to download and keep so I never wasted my time on 128kbps mp3's. Space wasn't an issue for me so I went straight to the 320's and then on to FLAC. In short I now own very good copies of every bit of music I could ever want to hear. The key word is "Discography". Sure new music is released all the time but I buy very little of it these days. I find most new music to be either shit or
    • by geekoid (135745)

      So you created your own little music echo chamber; how nice.
      and by nice I mean, sad.

      "I find most new music to be either shit or simply not appealing. "
      I really don't believe that. Sorry, but wither you aren't looking or you are in the 'it wasn't cool in my day therefore it sucks' mentality.

      There is new music for every style coming out every day, and NONE of it is good to you?

      Stop having a knee jerk reaction to new music and other genres.

      Sad, really.

  • My digital music (and podcast and audio book) collection is currently at 328 GB. Heck, I have more than 20 GB of just free SXSW downloads. No thanks.
  • ... isn't this similar to the service the old MP3.com offered that ultimately got them sued into oblivion?

    • Yes. You have a legal right to format shift. A company does not have the legal right to format shift for you. I don't totally agree with that but will admit it is in a gray area.

      That doesn't mean they are going about it the same way. They may pay for some type of license. MP3.com did not. Mp3.com paid a lot to lawyers that told them it was legal since format shifting was legal. This did not hold up in court. Eventually, MP3.com sued the law firm for the bad advice they were given. Never heard the results.

      Ag

  • A lot of the cloud, I can see the point of...

    Google mail - email comes in all the time, and you want to check and reply to it from anywhere. Heck, even if you don't like Google Mail IMAP isn't a million miles away from "cloud computing" and that's been useful for years.

    Google docs - useful for sharing documents, collaborative writing, or other documents you update frequently for multiple devices, and far, far simpler than having to "merge" conflicting versions of documents.

    DropBox - ditto (and a good wa

  • A key thing with this service is that it's FREE for mp3s you buy from Amazon. From their help pages -

    "All new Amazon MP3 purchases saved to Cloud Drive do not count against your storage quota."

    So, if I buy mp3 files from Amazon, I have a free backup AND and I can play them across any Internet connection or from an Android phone. This puts Amazon's online music store on a more competitive footing against Apple. To date, Apple's advantage has been its integration of Store + Music Management + Portable Play

  • I was a little disappointed to learn that this won't really complete with or replace Dropbox [db.tt], at least not yet. For me, OS-integration is critical-- I've got plenty of places to store info via a manual interface (web, FTP, etc). Hopefully this is just a start, and we'll see more features soon. Frankly, Dropbox works perfectly for me, so this just adds competition to the space that will hopefully drive up free storage capacities.

  • by SpryGuy (206254) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @12:58PM (#35655580)

    I have to wonder how many Windows users know they already have something like 25GB free available to them via Windows Live SkyDrive.

    It's not like Microsoft makes this fact well known. And it's certainly not like Microsoft bends over backwards to make it easy to use.

    But maybe this announcement will force Microsoft to get off its ass and actually push/promote/enhance what they already have. For instance, it would sure be nice if Windows Live SkyDrive had built-in Explorer integration (rather than relying on 3rd parties to make it useful), and that it were as easy to share links as it is with, say, DropBox.

  • by randallman (605329) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @02:41PM (#35657314)

    According to this article [allthingsdistributed.com], Cloud Drive is based on S3. The cost per GB for Cloud Drive is $1 per GB per year, where as S3 is $.14 per GB per month, or about $1.68 per GB per year plus transfer costs. Even if they're using reduced redundancy, Cloud Drive is still cheaper and S3 has transfer costs. Cloud Drive does require annual payments, so that may be a factor, but assuming they provide some sort of API to Cloud Drive or it's http and someone writes a library to access it, why would you pay more for S3?

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