Clearly, Amazon isn’t taking the impending arrival of iCloud lying down. The company has announced three improvements that make Cloud Drive and Cloud Player a bit more like the upcoming Apple service, well ahead of that service’s debut.
According to Amazon, any songs purchased from its Amazon MP3 service—even before the announcement—"will not count against a customer’s storage quota" on Cloud Drive. For a "limited time," the same will go for any MP3 and AAC songs stored on the service. Even folks who pay for the cheapest, $20-a-year plan will have "unlimited space for music" in addition to their 20GB of cloud storage, the company says. It doesn’t elaborate on the duration of the limited-time offer, though… or what will happen to stored music when the offer ends.
The third improvement is somewhat less exciting. Amazon’s Cloud Player service, which lets Cloud Drive users listen to their stored music on Macs, PCs, and Android handhelds, is now accessible from the iPad.
Steve Jobs made some jabs directly at Cloud Drive during the iCloud introduction last month, so it’s no surprise to see Amazon adjust its offer. In case you missed (or forgot) the big news, iCloud will store all songs you purchase on iTunes. Users will be able to pay $24.99 a year to get all of their non-iTunes music stored in the cloud, too. Unlike with the Amazon service, however, users won’t be forced to upload music that’s available on the iTunes Store—a perk that could save quite a bit of uploading time for folks with large music collections.