Amazon’s Streaming Music Service, Cloud Player, Goes Live

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The online retailer just beat everyone to the punch and launched Amazon Cloud Player, a cloud-based media streaming service for web browsers and Android. What’s that, Google and Apple is playing catch up to Amazon now? Yup.

Amazon Cloud Player is a free music locker service for the web, and all songs purchased from Amazon’s MP3 store can be saved directly to your account. The tracks then can be downloaded, streamed, browsed and sorted all online through a browser. Of course, there’s also playlist creation.

Android phones and tablets get the same type as functionality as computer users do. The caveat? There’s no platform available yet for iOS users.

Users start off with a free 5 GB of storage. If you’ve set up your account with Amazon Cloud, and you purchase an MP3 album by the end of the year, Amazon will upgrade the account to 20 GB of space.

We haven’t given it a run yet, but it is also possible to upload music already sitting on your computer to the service, barring any DRM restrictions.

Google Music has only begun recently testing its music service internally (and still has to overcome significant record label roadblocks), and Apple is said to be pushing its digital music locker service for April. Unlike Amazon, sources say Apple’s service is not free.

Given Amazon’s competition in this arena, which is virtually nonexistent right now, Amazon may have some time to try to distinguish its service as the standard for cloud music.

(via Amazon)

More on TIME.com:

Apple’s Music Locker: Nearly Here?

Google Begins Testing Google Music, Hints at Launch

Spotify to Start Streaming Live Concerts

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