For a while now, music listeners have been waiting for Apple and/or Google to finally launch a cloud music service, allowing users to upload music via the web and access it from any computer. Today, though, it’s Amazon who has beat both companies to the punch by launching the digital Cloud Player.

Amazon’s new cloud service allows account holders to upload, purchase and access digital music from any computer and Android phone. Account holders can back up their music, photos, documents and video on a hard drive backup service called Cloud Drive. Except for songs purchased via Amazon, the user will have to upload their music to access it through the service, which will help them prevent any licensing issues. While users reportedly are given 5 GB of free storage to start, they can get 20 GB if they purchase an album via Amazon, and then it’s $1 per GB following that.

While this certainly isn’t the first music streaming site to hit the web, this is still a major step for the cloud music service business. Apple and iTunes has been rumored to be launching a cloud storage service for a while now, but have produced nothing (instead focusing on Ping and The Beatles). But now a major company has put their hat into cloud music. Another interesting thing to take note of is that since Amazon’s new service extends to Android phones, a music service from Google (who owns Android) it’s definitely a shot at Google, who have apparently been developing their own cloud-based service. And of course, Amazon Cloud is easy to use for any web-based computer and Android smart phone, but not for iPhone. Could this make Amazon an even stronger competitor with the almighty iTunes? As of last Summer, Amazon (as well as Walmart) had 12% of the download business, while Apple had 28%. Could the Cloud Player give Amazon a boost in download sales?

But before we further over analyze Amazon’s new Cloud Player, we should ask a practical question. The service has been available now since this morning. We still haven’t gotten the chance to play around with it yet, but for those who have, what do you think? Is the Amazon Cloud Player worth using? Let us know what you think down below in the comment section.


[via New York Times and CNN]