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.