Amazon has unveiled a cloud-based music service in the US.
"Managing a digital music collection is a bit of a mess," Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos said in an open letter to customers on the Amazon website.
"It's possible to buy music from your phone, but then it might get stuck there. It's possible to buy music from your work computer, but then you have to remember to transfer it to your home computer... What's more, if you're not regularly backing up your music collection, you can lose it with a disk drive crash."
Amazon claims to have found a solution with its new services: Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player.
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 rumoured digital music locker, a cloud-based storage system for all of your tunes.
This is big news for both Apple and Google - Apple, because iTunes has been the market leader for... well... ever (66 percent of digital music sales in December 2010 were from iTunes), and Google, because Google has reportedly been unsuccessful in trying to make a cloud music 'locker' happen.
The Cloud Drive is the big news: not only can you upload and access your digital music collection from anywhere, but you can also upload "any other digital documents". Amazon is giving its customers an initial 5GB of free cloud storage - and purchases from the Amazon MP3 store are stored for free and do not count toward customers' storage quota. Cloud Drive can be used by Amazon customers anywhere in the world, though only those in the US can use the Cloud Player for Web and Android.
Amazon Cloud Player is just a simple browser-based music player, but Amazon has also pushed out an Android app by the same name. Based on Amazon's recent push toward Android, it does seem like an Amazon tablet running Android is inevitable.