29
Mar
GettingStarted_TCG._V184037123_

It’s not much of a secret that Amazon is quickly becoming one of my favorite companies. The way they have embraced Android is wonderful, creating diversity where there used to be none. I recently ran down some of the pros and cons of the Amazon Appstore for Android, which is starting to become my go-to marketplace for new apps. Now they have released a new music streaming service, Cloud Player, which brings some of the functionality that was originally a hope of Google Music to my Droid.

Cloud Drive and the Web App

The Cloud Player is basically a frontend to all of the music that is stored in the Cloud Drive (which can be used to store any file type). As you can see from the screenshot, the categorization is liken to the “My Documents” in Windows, making organization in the Cloud Drive quick and painless. At this time, there is no direct access to Cloud Drive from Android, but I have a feeling that this will be something that will be implemented in the future.

CloudDriveMain

The Cloud Player Web App is exactly what you would expect from a media management/player – library, playlists, media controls, etc. –  although track numbers are noticeably absent, so it sorts music alphabetically by track title. Don’t expect the advanced functionality of a desktop application, like an EQ, for example, as this is still quite basic. Otherwise, the interface is clean and well organized - definitely something that I could use on a daily basis.

WebCloudPlayer

The Android App

Amazon MP3 has gotten a bad rep over the last year because it was bundled with so many phones without a way to remove it (unless rooted), but that is all about to change. The Cloud Player is now incorporated with Amazon MP3, bringing a whole new level of desirability to this once unwanted app.

Much like its desktop counterpart, Cloud Player for Android is very clean and easy to navigate. It allows access to both local media and music stored in the Cloud Drive, so this could be the only music player you ever need.

AndroidCloudPlayer AndroidCloudPlayer2 AndroidCloudPlayerPlaying 

One of my favorite features, highlighted below, is the ability to download the album onto your SD card for offline use directly from the app.

AndroidCloudPlayerDownloadMusic

Cost

Amazon has given all users a modest 5GB to start off, but for most of us, this isn’t enough. Fortunately, they offer extra space for a very reasonable price, especially when you consider the fact that you can get 20GB for $0.69 thanks to the “buy any album, get 20GB” deal that Amazon is running. Twenty gigabytes isn’t enough? Don’t fret, you can get added space for the yearly cost of $1 per gigabyte, or $1000 per terabyte.

Storage plans

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Streaming service allows you to take your entire music collection with you
  • Saves space on the SD Card
  • Backed by Amazon
  • Economical
  • Music purchased from Amazon does not count towards the quota

Cons

  • U.S. Only (for now)
  • Potentially high data usage
  • No Cloud Drive Android access (yet) - just music

Conclusion

While there are a few missing features, Cloud Player is definitely a step in the right direction and will probably only get better as time goes on. If Amazon continues to put out quality software like this, maybe we're not too far off from a whole “Amazon Experience Device.” Who wants to place some bets?

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, and musician. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6- or 7-string, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Grant Garrison

    Its Amazon week here at Android Police HQ... :P

  • Bek

    I would argue that another con, is that unless you download the MP3s to your phone, you are stuck using Amazon's Music Player.

    • ari-free

      But you CAN download them to your phone. Your music will always be your music. in other words, there's no re-encoding of your tunes, unlike other cloud music services.

  • http://zalzalaweb.com/jens anakin78z

    Has anyone been getting Network Error messages when trying to stream music? It seems like every other song it just won't play. If I then switch to another song, it'll magically not have a network error, and will stream just fine.
    Other than that, I quite like the service & player so far.

    • John

      Me too. Just holding off judgement since its so new.

    • Jeff

      Yes. I can't get much of anything to play on my Evo unless I am on WiFi.

  • Paul

    I was using MP3's before they could be legally purchased. Anything new I get is purchased, but my old collection still remains. So I wonder about the ramifications of putting my older MP3's on the cloud drive. It'd be nice to not have to store it on my 32gb Class 10 MicroSD card and instead just keep it 'in the cloud' but I wonder if they'll snoop and such. Maybe I'll just put my newer stuff up there, sucks though, a lot of the music I have can't even be purchased.

    • ari-free

      Most of the music that I'm interested in isn't even on itunes or amazon. It's all in DRM protected Windows Media! I can convert them to mp3 but only through Windows Media Player. It's really funny.

    • RichF

      Why not just use Audiogalaxy?

      • J. Berts

        Y not?. Because Audiogalaxy lets you control your own music - that is so old school - modern internet users would rather let a benevolent "Big Brother" multinational conglomerate determine every aspect of how we use digital files we supposedly own

  • jeep

    I have a question I put my music on this and everything worked except my Beatles CDs; its on the cloud but it doesn't want to stream can anyone tell me if they have a problem to

  • howard

    i purchased an mp3 for .69 and it says i still have the free 5G..WTF?

    • http://zalzalaweb.com/jens anakin78z

      you have to buy an album.

    • ari-free

      yup. New purchases don't count to the limit. Only old stuff that you upload counts.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/hardkormysteria Kori

    Nice musical taste you have... Star Chasing is one of my favorites. I think I'll give this a try.

  • juwelz10

    @howard - i think an entire mp3 album needs to be purchased...

  • Feragola

    I was personally hoping that Google would get their service out the door by now but I guess this is a preview of what it may look like. Either way, both companies are moving in the right direction.

  • Feragola

    Looks like Amazon jumped the Gun on this one and pissed off the Record Execs. I say GO AMAZON!

    Google and Amazon should come out with their own Record Label and put all of the Fat Cats that are robbing the artists and fans out of business.

  • http://www.capabilitiesinc.biz Justin

    Very happy to see that you had Buckethead on your playlist :)

  • Matt

    +1 for liking buckethead

  • Jason martin

    Just started this morning still uploading to cloud from home computer. Left for work with new update to android app. Couldn't play any music. Always has network error in 3g with full bars. I can't play squat but I can view and load album art. Using htc evo un rooted on sprint.

    • Jason martin

      Just started this morning still uploading to cloud from home computer. Left for work with new update to android app. Couldn't play any music. Always has network error in 3g with full bars. I can't play squat but I can view and load album art. Using htc evo un rooted on sprint.

      I was able to download songs to my.phone successfully but still can't stream via cloud player.

  • hatchetdawg

    If you have an Evo or Evo Shift and have trouble using the Amazon MP3 Cloud Player it's the same old streaming/3g evo fix http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=922978

  • Valerie

    Amazon offered unlimited music storage so I gave the clould player a try. I like it a lot. I did take a while to upload my music collection, but I set it up before I went to work and let it rip. I set up a playlist and used the clould player on my Ipad, work computer and Android, I am happy.

  • Nick LAchey

    Great post. Here’s an article which compares the popular cloud database services - Caspio, Amazon, Database.com, and Microsoft SQL
    http://blog.caspio.com/web-database/comparing-cloud-database-services/