Amazon’s Cloud Drive online music streaming service surprised everyone, including the music industry, which has yet to actually agree to provide licences.
Apparently the music labels are saying that “music labels were alerted of the plans last week,” and that Amazon only addressed “the issue of negotiating licences” afterwards.
Given that the recording industry sues everyone who ever thought of being a pirate, it seems particularly daft of Amazon to make this move.
One recording industry person was so stunned by the fact a large company had gone and done this that it had totally shaken their faith in the nature of reality and overthrown their concept of the universe.
But they are also faced with the fact that if Amazon pulls the plug on music sales then a huge chunk of the industry would go down the gurgler. It looks like Amazon wanted to get ahead of Apple with the service so that it could sign up as many people as possible before Jobs’ Mob had an established congregation.
Amazon’s Cloud Drive provides users with 5GB of free storage (or 20GB for $20 annually) that can be used to upload music for playback via an Android app or through Amazon’s Cloud Play website, which organises music into playlists.
While Apple’s MobileMe has similarly let people upload their music to the cloud for streaming playback, it has not promoted the feature because it is bogged down in negotiations with the music industry.
The music labels have long insisted on special “streaming licensing” for users that want to copy their own music to the cloud for their own mobile playback. This has effectively screwed up anyone wanting to set up a legal service.