Amazon leads the way on multi-media storage in the cloud

Amazon has stolen a march on Apple and Google with two services that enable users to store multi-media files in the cloud and stream them to computers and smartphones.

Amazon has stolen a march on Apple and Google with two services that enable users to store multi-media files in the cloud and stream them to computers and smartphones.

Google and Apple are working on similar services, according to AP reports.

Amazon Cloud Drive is for storing music, images, video and documents, while Amazon Cloud Player enables users to access stored media on any PC, Mac or Android smartphone.

The Cloud Drive service allows users to upload content from PC, Mac and iTunes, but not from mobile phones. Songs with Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions are also not allowed, and Cloud drive supports only MP3 or AAC file formats.

Cloud Player allows users to play, pause, skip, shuffle and repeat tracks as well as adjust the volume, create new playlists and display music by song, album or genre.

But content stored on Cloud Drive cannot be accessed on the iPad, and there are no versions of the companion Cloud Player on the iPhone or iPod Touch, according to USA Today.

Amazon, which claims the storage is secure, says the services will enable users to access content wherever they are, but admits the move is also aimed at driving sales of online music.

Amazon account holders will get 5GB free storage, but additional capacity will be available for an annual fee of $1 per GB up to 1,000GB.

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