Amazon Updates Consumer Cloud Services

Amazon Cloud Drive Logo

Amazon Cloud Drive Logo

Amazon joined the update parade by updating their Cloud Music offering and separating it out from their Cloud Files offering. Now Cloud Files and Cloud Player are different products with their own pricing, although existing subscribers still get combined and discounted pricing for some plans. Amazon purchased music doesn’t count against the the space quota, although it appears that the deal where all music was free, regardless of source, is over.

I installed the updated uploader and had problems immediately. In short, the uploader screen was blank except for the Amazon logo and the help link, Since provide feedback was all I could do, I did. I didn’t expect a response as this wasn’t a trouble report but I did get an email response rather quick. I provided the log file but as I told the Amazon rep, this isn’t important enough to me for it to be worth my time. The Amazon Music offering has been finicky at best for me, and downright unusable at other times. I have to admit, the DRM has yet to get in the way for me.

Scan and Match along with quality upgrades bring iTunes Match type functionality.The press release is here.

More exciting, at least for me, was Amazon’s release of a video player for the iPad. Amazon is the one service where I’ve been willing to “buy” DRM’d video. It still has all the negatives of DRM – it’s more a rental than a purchase and DRM is just one more thing to break (like a down DRM server). Amazon minimizes the impact by making the video playable many places, taking the hint from Netflix.

The Player’s UI is better than the other Amazon UI’s and it’s usable. The sorting is still weird, seems to be based upon purchase date which makes sense in a way, but it would be nice to have an alpha-sort option. Streaming over wireless was smooth and there’s an option to download the video for offline viewing, Wireless is required for online streaming, no streaming over LTE.

Maybe it’s me, but Amazon Cloud Player doesn’t seem usable for anything beyond a storage locker for the Amazon music I purchase. On the other hand, Amazon Video (including Prime) has become my primary online video source.

Anyone having a better Cloud Player experience than I am? Using Amazon Instant Video on the iPad?