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Tuesday March 29, 2011 12:18 pm

Amazon Cloud Player streams your music to your computer and Android device

Amazon Cloud Player

Amazon unveiled its new cloud-based music service today, which will provide users with up to 5GB of free, online music storage.

The company is offering Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player for Web, and Amazon Cloud Player for Android, all of which will let users upload their music collections to the cloud and access those songs on Android phones and tablets, as well as the PC and Mac.

No word on an iOS version, but Amazon recently launched an Amazon Appstore, so it's focus at the moment is likely on the Google-owned platform.

Amazon will provide users with 5GB of free storage. Those who purchase an album via Amazon's MP3 store will get 20GB of free storage for one year; albums purchased via Amazon MP3 are automatically added to Amazon's cloud service and do not count against a user's storage quota. Additional storage plans start at $20 per year, Amazon said.

Users can upload songs in AAC or MP3 formats, and can select certain songs, artists, or albums, or just upload the entire music library.

"The launch of Cloud Drive, Cloud Player for Web and Cloud Player for Android eliminates the need for constant software updates as well as the use of thumb drives and cables to move and manage music," Bill Carr, vice president of Movies and Music at Amazon, said in a statement.

"Our customers have told us they don't want to download music to their work computers or phones because they find it hard to move music around to different devices," Carr continued.

Amazon's Cloud Player for Web is accessible on PCs and Macs, and works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. Cloud Player for Android, meanwhile, is bundled into the latest version of the Amazon MP3 app, which has the full Amazon MP3 store and the cloud player.

Amazon Cloud Drive, meanwhile, allows users to upload more than music, including photos, videos, and documents. This service also provides 5GB of free storage and 20GB starting at $20 per year.

Rumors about an Amazon music service picked up this weekend, as did reports about a similar service from Google. With the launch of its service, however, Amazon beats Google - and Apple - in introducing its cloud-based music service.

Ever since its December 2009 purchase of Lala, there have been rumors about a cloud-based music service from Apple. Earlier this month, there were reports that Apple was negotiating with record companies for a system that would allow users to access music downloaded from the App Store on an unlimited number of iOS devices, but nothing has been announced. On Monday, there were also rumors that Apple was preparing to launch a revamped version of its cloud-based content storage service, MobileMe, featuring a "locker" for music.

This article, written by Chloe Albanesius, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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