Amazon has made its entry into the music streaming world with Amazon Cloud Player. Rather than stream a library of predetermined music (e.g. Pandora, Spotify), Cloud Player lets you upload your existing music library and stream it from any computer or Android device.
For the past 30 minutes, I’ve been testing Cloud Player. While it’s impossible to get the full experience in half an hour (mostly because Amazon estimates it will be another 12 hours before my first 1,262 songs are uploaded), it’s enough time to write a preliminary evaluation of Amazon’s new streaming music service.
Here are some of my initial thoughts about Amazon Cloud Player and its companion Android app:
- Uploading: When you first install Cloud Drive on your computer, it searches your entire hard drive for your music and your playlists. Although this takes awhile (10 minutes), once the process is complete, it makes uploading songs a snap. It pulled my iTunes playlists and let me choose which ones I wanted to upload, a very welcomed feature.
- Usability: The web-based cloud player is really intuitive. The layout makes it easy to select songs, search your music archives and organize your music. The player itself is quick to load, responsive, and even lets you skip around to different points in your music, something not possible with most of the streaming music players on the market today.
- Music Quality: While I’m no audiophile, I really can’t tell any difference between Cloud Player and a streaming service like Pandora. Playing music from your hard drive is going to give you a better acoustic experience, but the vast majority of consumers won’t be able to tell the difference.
- Features: Cloud Player doesn’t have a lot of frills, but you will be able to do almost everything you want within it. It doesn’t have iTunes’ ability to automatically download podcasts or the Genius recommendation feature, but they’re not necessary features for a great music experience.
- Android: I also took Amazon’s Cloud Player app for spin on a Motorola Atrix 4G phone. After signing in with my Amazon account, it quickly found my uploaded music and played it flawlessly. Again, I was able to skip around to different points in my music, create playlists and search my Cloud Drive for uploaded music. The player even lets you access your on-device music, essentially rendering Google’s official Music player useless.
- Price: You start with 5 GB of free storage, but for the vast majority of people, that won’t be enough. I upgraded to 20 GB for $20/year, though in retrospect I should’ve bought a cheap album instead. The pricing plan is very simple: 1 GB per dollar. I paid more for Pandora One ($36) than I did for 20 GB of Cloud Player storage, so overall I’d say Amazon’s a good deal.
Amazon has thrown down the gauntlet and set a high bar for cloud-based music streaming. Apple and Google, which are expected to launch their own cloud players sometime this year, will have to match Amazon on usability and price if they’re going to compete.
Amazon can’t rest on its laurels though; Apple will surely harness its control of the iPhone, iTunes and iOS to boost its own offering and give the shopping giant a run for its money.
More About: amazon, Amazon Cloud Player, Cloud Player, CloudS, streaming music
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這套影音儲存服務包括兩個部分：「Amazon Cloud Drive」讓使用者上傳影音、照片等檔案至亞馬遜伺服器，並把檔案儲存在雲端資料庫，以便用網頁瀏覽器存取；「Amazon Cloud Player」則讓使用者播放已經上傳至雲端的影音檔案，可透過搭載Google Android、微軟Windows與蘋果作業系統的智慧手機和其他裝置播出。