Amazon has tonight taken the wraps off a new web-based streaming service that allows users to upload their favourite songs online and listen to them anywhere over the Internet.
With many predicting Apple will soon announce a similar "digital locker" type service, Amazon has made the first move, announcing the new service dubbed Amazon Cloud Player and Cloud Drive free of charge for the first 5GB of storage, after which users will be able to purchase up to 1000GB of space to store their songs.
"Our customers have told us they don"t want to download music to their work computers or phones because they find it hard to move music around to different devices," Bill Carr, vice president of Movies and Music at Amazon said in a statement tonight.
"Now, whether at work, home, or on the go, customers can buy music from Amazon MP3, store it in the cloud and play it anywhere."
Customers can purchase songs using the Amazon music store, and then choose the option to have the song automatically added to their Cloud Player account. Then, using a special Android application or their web browser on a computer, mobile device or Mac, users can "stream" the song over the internet allowing access anywhere, anytime and eliminating the need to download the song.
Alternatively, users can upload their own music into the cloud to listen to on the go from their own collections.
For a limited time, Amazon is also offering customers in the United States a year"s worth free-of-charge 20GB of space if they purchase an MP3 album from the Amazon MP3 Store by the end of 2011.