Of Cloud Music And the Hoopla About Amazon, Google and Apple Service

As you might have read all over the Internet last week Amazon launched its Cloud Drive music locker service that will let you upload your music to Amazon’s cloud and stream it to multiple devices (currently only available in the U.S ). What exactly does the service offer?? What does this mean for consumers?? How does anyone benefit from this ( considering someone does )? What does the future of media consumption look like?? What are competitors going to do about it? And what are the legal implications of this move by Amazon?

What does the service offer :
Amazon has started providing users with free online storage for their content ( music and others things like documents etc.). Users will be able to use this storage for free and will be given more storage ( upto  20 GB ) for purchasing an album from the Amazon mp3 store. It will let you access this stored content from anywhere and onto multiple devices. Any music you purchase from amazon will be automatically stored to you music locker and will be available to you via a web-browser or from Amazon’s own Amazon mp3 app downloadable from Amazon’s appstore for android.( Just goes to show how much Amazon is betting on Android’s success )

What does this mean for consumers :
Well it seams  a move like this is going to be welcomed by consumers find it hard to carry their music and content on the multiple devices.Like for example, a professional who uses a blackberry phone for office does not want to put his music on his office computer or his blackberry can easily listen to his music from the web-browser on his office pc or through an app on the phone, anywhere, anytime. Isn’t that what the cloud is all about anyway? The biggest advantage here is that users are allowed to upload THEIR OWN MUSIC without having to purchase it from Amazon before storing it to the cloud drive.

How does anyone benefit from this :
Well this is an easy one for the consumers – its a no brainer and the consumers are going to love it ( at least the ones with good Internet connectivity ). We are seeing everyday that cloud based services are becoming more popular with the masses and music will be at the forefront to drive this new market forward.
Amazon too has jumped the gun on licensing and is trying hard to make it popular so that later when users are actively supporting the services, they can talk business with digital media corporations.

What does the future of media consumption look like :
We love having our entertainment with us all the time and that’s a fact. And in the near future we will be able to do just that. Imagine being able to listen to any song you have ever purchased or any that you have on your cloud storage. Inevitably all our content is moving to the Internet – it is true for documents and emails and it will be the same for music and other digital media.

What are competitors going to do about it :
Although cloud storage is not a new  concept, the legal implications have made companies rethink their strategy when it comes to digital media. Amazon took a bold step in launching this service. For some time now, Google has also been rumored to be launching its own cloud based music player service, and a resounding confirmation ( although not official ) when the music app designed for Android Honeycomb OS leaked. Google may be closer than you think to launching their cloud music service. Google is gearing up its launch with the acquisition of Pushlife, a Canadian company that makes an itunes like app for sync with Android ( Google’s mobile device OS), for $25 million ( an indication that Google is looking at it like a prospective market for selling music to android users, like apple does with itunes).  Apple is reportedly working on a cloud based music service for its own mobile operating system iOS5.

What are the legal implications of this move by Amazon :
Well as you might have guessed -the record label companies are not particularly happy about this move by Amazon. Pirated music and music sharing has been a constant worry for them, and now it seems that Amazon might hurt them even further. Some may even consider legal action. Google and Apple on the other hand are taking a more cautious approach to their cloud music services.Taking time to meet record label companies for licensing is definitely going to bear fruit in the long run. But in a world of tech eat tech, Amazon definitely has a head start!
What’s your take?