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Mar 29, 2011

Let the Battle for Music in the Cloud Begin!

The gauntlet has been thrown down. Amazon today announced a service to store your music and media in the clous and play it back anywhere anytime. CNet has the details:
CNet: Amazon launches digital music locker

So you get 5GB of storage for free. 20GB for $20 a year. You can play your music in any Mac or PC browser and on Android devices. However, you can not play your music on iOS devices. That's right no iPod, iPhone, iPad. Odd isn't it? Mashable has the details and a few word arounds.

Mashable How To: Use Amazon Cloud Player With iOS Devices

So according to the story, there is no technical reason why the player will not work on iOS devices. In fact, only Mobile Safari doesn't work. If you use an alternative web browser, it plays just fine.

So why the rather odd snub to Apple products? There have been a number of reports that both Apple and Google will be announcing similar products this year. That could be the reason, but I don't think so. More likely this has too do with Apple's new subscription policy on the App store. Apple is planning to ban any apps that sell things outside of the app store. That would include Kindle books and newspaper subscriptions. Given the low prices of ebooks, it seems likely that paying Apple a 30% cut is just not feasible. So this move seems directly aimed at that app store environment. It will be interesting to see if Amazon "fixes" this issue in a timely manner.

Anyway, I expect some "leaks" about Apple and Google offerings sooner than later.
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