Amazon Offers 99-Cent Lady Gaga Album Again (with New No-Crash Promise)

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If you stumbled over yourself to download Lady Gaga’s new Born This Way album when it was priced at 99 cents from Amazon on Monday, you may have found Amazon’s servers to be working about as well as a porcupine at a child’s birthday party (does NOT work—trust me).

(More on Amazon’s 99-Cent Lady Gaga Album Heralds Cloud Music Wars)

In a somewhat refreshing move, Amazon has not only admitted fault in the porcupine-style fiasco, but is once again offering the album for 99 cents along with the following promise: “This time we’re ready.”

Amazon’s music director Craig Pape said, “Clearly customers are really excited for Lady Gaga’s new album – we saw extraordinary response to Monday’s promotion – far above what we expected – she definitely melted some servers.” Melted? Does not sound safe, does not smell good.

As with any album purchase from Amazon’s digital music store, you’ll automatically unlock an additional 15 gigabytes of storage space inside Amazon’s new online Cloud Player, which facilitates browser-based organization and playback of your music collection. You can go old-school and download the songs to your computer as well, of course.

The whole “being ready” thing is one of the major strikes against cloud-based services. Consumers expect that the stuff they upload to the cloud will be accessible to them when they want it and providers of cloud services generally make the claim that people will be able to reliably access their files.

But one of the weaknesses of the cloud is that if a jillion people are trying to access the same cloud at the same time, servers start to melt. Until more reliable systems are put in place, providers would be wise to do things like what Amazon’s done here: Say sorry and offer make-right deals. Making sure customers never actually lose any of their data if and when servers get knocked offline is another base that’s important to cover as well.

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