Even though this has been an item of discussion for some time now to my knowledge, I had to admit that I was a little behind in terms of what it would actually be and who would come out with it first. Let me explain a little bit more about what this is. Envision your music library being stored online and accessible anywhere that you can make a web connection via PC/Mac or mobile device. Pretty cool right? I think so as this moves the music industry in the next possible direction and frees us as fans of music by giving us yet another way to enjoy our favorite bands. The biggest surprise of them all is that it was neither Google or Itunes who came out with this first but instead Amazon.com. The name of this new music player is very simply “The Cloud”.
To begin using the Cloud Player you will need an Amazon.com account and I think most people actually have one by now since the company has been around for so long. Many people are signed into it for book and music purchases and to get recommendations based on their interests not to mention their own Kindle device manner of reading. I’ve been using Amazon.com for as long as I can remember in my online life, and we even made PiercingMetal.com one of their affiliates (but this post is not about that).
Once you have signed in with your account to the main screen you will learn that you have been given 5gb of free space to use as you see fit. That is pretty good and actually a little larger than the amount of space one will find on the most recent iteration of the Ipod Shuffle. You can purchase extra space to use for yourself and I tooled around the medium to see what those costs were like. Check out the next image.
As you can see it can get a little pricy depending on the amount of music you have to upload but I am sure that as this kind of thing becomes the standard that we shall see discounts or premium pricing being offered their participants. You are probably wondering if I tried this yet, and the answer is yes. Recently I had downloaded about six free Metal samplers from the Metalhit.com Folks and was planning on offering up reviews of them on PiercingMetal.com so the readers could fully enjoy this free music and I figured this would be the best stuff to start my Cloud experience with.
To get to this point I had to first download their “Amazon.com Uploader” tool but before using that you also need the Adobe Air applet. That is good to have anyway and will not interfere with other things on your computer. If you use Adobe Reader already you probably have this anyway. Once these items are ready, the Cloud uploader will either search for music on your computer automatically, or let you stop and select the folders that you want. I chose this option because I was only interested in uploading the six samplers from Metalhit along with a select couple of others from Relapse Records, Metalsucks.net and Nuclear Blast.com
The upload time was going to take a little while, and showed about five hours for the nine albums that I would be utilizing for the experiment, but that is probably much faster on a FIOS or T-3 connection. If you are using dial-up for some reason still, I am crying on the inside for you. As you can see via the browser this is VERY EASY to navigate and almost fun in its simplicity. It looks like you can delete the tracks that you added very easily so be careful of that.
Since the service was citing how easy it was to use on one’s Droid phone I quickly turned to my own and did my own test. You need to have the Amazon.com MP3 player from the Droid Market installed and once you open that it asks you to choose either the Amazon.com Store or Player which is of course The Cloud. Selecting “Player” got me a warning about how they recommend using this on 3g, 4g or WiFi connections to avoid incurring additional data charges. These days most data plans on phones are unlimited but I selected WiFi since there are enough hot spots around for me to utilize. Sorry that I do not have a photo of that for you. The sound was very clear and the navigation of these menus as simple/functional as the ones found on the website.
Our friends and supporters over at WeRoqq PR did a little bit more of a comprehensive business analysis of the medium since that is the quest that they are on. You can check out Shukmei Wong’s own stress test for the Amazon.com Cloud Player and some of its Pros and Cons by clicking HERE.
In the end I thought it was pretty cool and if I never move past the allotted free amount of 5GB it is still an interesting and different way to enjoy the Metal that I am listening to and eventually reviewing.