Amazon CloudPlayer – Better than free?

Sunday, May 22nd 2011

For years I’ve seen a lot of very smart people refer to how the industry of your choice (music, movies, games, etc) can beat rampant piracy: Offer a service that’s better than free. That is, provide features that piracy can never match. For music, I think Amazon’s Cloudplayer has finally found a way to provide a service better than what piracy provides for free.

Amazon’s Cloudplayer lets me do a number of very handy things, including:
-Access my music from mobile devices, without needing to sync ahead of time
-Back up my music off-site
-Re-download my Amazon MP3 purchases, which are automatically stored online for free(!)

I think the second and third features are most important here – I could theoretically pirate all my music, but what happens when I accidentally delete a song or my hard drive dies? (Or what if I simply get a new computer and want to easily transfer my stuff to it?) With a few clicks, I can re-download all my legally purchased music.

I have reservations about a lot of Amazon’s moves recently (see Kindle and their Android app store), but Amazon MP3 with Cloudplayer provides an amazing service. I’ll gladly pay their reasonable prices rather than waste time tracking down music through sometimes dodgy methods. I’m even considering cancelling my Rdio subscription. I love Rdio, but I could take that $10 per month and put it toward building my own streaming music catalog in Cloudplayer instead; a streaming music catalog that doesn’t shut off if I stop paying every month. I can’t see myself ever leaving for another music store or ecosystem, piracy-based or not. But even if I do, I can still get all my old music to take with me.

22. May 2011 by Chad Haefele
Categories: Mobile, Ramblings, Reviews, Tech | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. I like the idea of Amazon Cloudplayer. It’s non-useful to me while it does not support iOS. A political move by Amazon, but that’s their choice.

  2. The problem I’ve run into with Amazon’s Cloud player is the 8 “devices” and no way to see which/how many devices have been used or ways to delete “devices” (note that a browser is a “device” – so that if I use it on my work computer in IE, FF and Chrome, I’ve used 3 of my “devices”.

    There’s still some kinks in the system that I hope will be worked out by Amazon. If so, I think it will serve me very well.

  3. Interesting, I didn’t know about the 8 device limit. Hmm! That does give me some reservations, but it they provide a way to manage the 8 devices I think it’d be manageable. Have you run into the limit?

  4. Yes, I did. They reset my devices for me, and I’m hoping I have the settings right on my work computer so I won’t run into it again, but I’ll know by the end of this week.

    Amazon did reset my devices after I contacted tech support, but I’ve not received any followup to asking about the number of devices I’d authorized – I’m hoping that changes are in the works. See also, http://consumerist.com/2011/05/amazon-cloud-player-locks-user-out-of-music-collection.html

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