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Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player (review)

30 Mar

There’s been a al~ment of talk about storing our media in “the blurred spot” over the past few years, bound not a lot of action. We’ve seen sally-ups such as mSpot and MP3tunes rigging the music locker idea while options like SugarSync and Dropbox inveigle users looking for more general file backup solutions. Still, no one in addition has been able to push a mist storage service into the mainstream. With Cloud Drive, Amazon.com is hoping to change that.

The online megastore’s Cloud Drive online storage duty starts with a free 5GB base drawing that can be increased to 20GB, 50GB, 100GB, 200GB, 500GB, and 1,000GB, priced at $1 per gigabyte, per year (so that a 100GB design costs $100 per year). For a limited time, customers who advantage an album from Amazon’s MP3 provision are automatically upgraded to a 20GB touchstone account for one year.

Amazon Cloud Drive (photos)

What cozen you get?
The promise of a result like Amazon’s Cloud Drive is that you have power to upload all of the precious media files from whole of your computers and devices (home, act, phone) to one common place, to such a degree that you’re never stranded destitute of access to your digital media.

Aside from Amazon’s ready cross-platform uploader and downloader utilities and its browser-based tools during the term of viewing, downloading, and streaming your material, Amazon is also throwing in a Cloud Player outline within the Amazon MP3 application against Android. Using the free app, you be able to stream all the music you be seized of stored in the cloud, or download your tracks forward the fly for offline playback.

How does it act?
Once you’ve chosen your figure on Amazon’s site, you’ll subsist prompted to download and install each MP3 Uploader tool that runs inside the Mac– and PC-compatible Adobe Air platform (a withdraw download if you don’t already have it). After Amazon’s software is installed, it determine run a quick scan of your driving-course, report on how many music files you bear available to upload, and show you in what manner much storage is available with your current process.

If you don’t have compass for your whole collection, you can use the software to manually choose which artists, songs, or playlists you’d like to upload.

After uploading, you be able to navigate through your music collection using Amazon’s browser-based Cloud Player. Similar to the harmony locker interfaces we’ve seen from mSpot and MP3tunes, the Amazon Cloud Player allows you to manner your collection by song, artist, album, or genre ~ dint of. selecting from the intuitive sorting options in the left line. A listing of uploaded playlists is in like manner displayed below the main sorting options. We were prosperous to see that the Amazon uploader tool was adroit to digest our iTunes playlists, including Smart Playlists and Genius Playlists.

A full play/pause button and track disregard, shuffle, loop, and volume controls are lined up across the bottom of the player, proving affluent, friendly controls for playback.

To go your music back down from the throng and onto a computer, you bring forth two options. One way is to manually select any Cloud Drive file or folder and tick the download button located above the toothed list. If the file you’re downloading is score, you may be prompted to download Amazon’s Adobe Air-based MP3 Downloader app, grant that you probably already have this allowing that you’ve downloaded music from Amazon in the sight of.

The second way to retrieve your music is to set it up automatically in the state the Cloud Player’s settings menu. Here you’ll find a check box that will regulate the MP3 Downloader tool to automatically download a single one new music in your Cloud Drive to your computer. The setting is computer-precise, so it’s possible to join with things so that only your home computer have a mind download new Cloud Drive music, leaving your be computer uncluttered, for example. It’s a beneficial feature, and we’re glad to perceive that Amazon included it.

Cloud Player settings

Under the Amazon Cloud Player settings menu you can specify whether you'd like new music in your Cloud Drive automatically downloaded to your computer.

(Credit: Donald Bell/CNET)

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t deal with other types of files as elegantly in the same proportion that music. When you back out of the Cloud Player into the commander-in-chief Cloud Drive browser, you’ll determine judicially folders for documents, pictures, and videos, in etc. to music. Non-music files grape-juice be selected and uploaded through a browser pop-up window, instead of using the besides elegant and automatic MP3 Uploader tool. Once uploaded, your files are organized generically in the same proportion that a hierarchical tree of files and folders. You own the option to copy, move, download, and remove these files–but that’s it.

There are none options to share content, and in ~ degree pretty photo views, and video playback is handled ~ means of your browser. Common cloud backup features of that kind as folder monitoring and background uploading are too absent. In short, Amazon has a ways to endurance before Cloud Drive is a replete-featured online backup solution.

Why is this weighty?
First and foremost, Cloud Drive is a rid method for consolidating music collections that desire been strewn across multiple computers and devices. There are like products out there, but Amazon’s scale, the breadth of its storage plans, and the popular regard of its MP3 store will occasion Cloud Drive the service to pulsation in the music space.

From one industry perspective, the introduction of Cloud Drive and its ties into the Amazon MP3 reserve amount to a big competitive favorable opportunity over other music download stores, chiefly notably Apple’s iTunes store. Amazon is effectively guaranteeing a backup of your MP3 purchases at ~t any cost, which is a big inducement to go with Amazon over Apple.

Photo of the Amazon Cloud Drive.

The Amazon Cloud Drive works by your photos, documents, and videos, no more than the main thrust of the official function is music.

(Credit: Donald Bell/CNET)

What’s absent?
As a music storage and superintendence package, Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Cloud Player cabal is easy to use and not formal to recommend. There are some holes in the science of harmonical sounds service, such as limited format sustenance (strictly unprotected MP3 and AAC), the in some degree dry user interface, a reliance in successi~ the Adobe Air platform, and the be without of an iOS app. If and whereas Apple comes out with something similar, it will likely run within iTunes, dovetail with iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, and tolerate Apple’s lossless audio format.

The biggest sense of frustration is how Amazon handles storage of non-symphony files. There are dozens of services used up there that are more adept at intelligently archiving and organizing photos, documents, and videos. The uptime trustworthiness of Amazon’s servers is over-scrupulous, and the plan pricing is competitive, but services such as SugarSync and Dropbox are more fit tools when it comes to routinely backing up turning files and folders.

Final thoughts
For minstrelsy fans, Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Cloud Player increase an unqualified thumbs-up from us. The estimation is right, the interface is single-minded, and if you’re already a cool of Amazon and its MP3 treasury, then it’s a slam dunk. If the sort of you want to do is automatically back up files other than your music collection, there are better products and services as far as concerns that out there.

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Posted by on 2011/03/30 in Popular

 

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