Amazon has beaten Google and Apple to the punch, by launching the first cloud based music storage system. The product allows users to play mp3s and videos that they have uploaded to their cloud via the internet or android phones. The service includes a “Save to Amazon Cloud Drive” button for saving MP3s to the cloud, and provides an option for users to upload music from a hard drive to their Cloud Drive.
Amazon cloud users are provided with 5 GB of free storage and then are given up to 20 GB if they buy an album through Amazon, then offering $1 per GB after that. While music fans await Apple and Google’s products, the most similar existing service is Grooveshark which allows users to stream songs from the site as well as uploading songs to the site.
So, we can expect that record companies are pleased that we have another method of storing and accessing music, can’t we? No, unsurprisingly they’re still acting like it’s 1995 and they’re kicking and screaming and calling in the lawyers like a child throwing its toys out of a cot in a tantrum. They want Amazon to pay them a license for storing their songs. Amazon claims that storing music in a cloud is no different to a music fan storing ripped mp3s from a CD or legally downloaded mp3s on an external hard drive.
However, still choosing to ignore reality and technological innovation like they have for the last 15 years, the big record companies are sending in the lawyers. The major record companies have now decided retrospectively that the licenses previous granted to punters in buying music don’t apply to cloud storage and distribution.
A representative from Sony told the Wall Street Journal “We are disappointed that the locker service that Amazon is proposing is unlicensed by Sony Music.” Although the lawsuits may be some time away, look forward to a legal bunfight that will put yet another nail in the coffin of the current record company model.