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Amazon Launches Cloud-Based Streaming Service

Cloud Drive and Cloud Player will allow users to stream their music files from Amazon's computers

March 29, 2011 8:48 AM ET
Amazon Launches Cloud-Based Streaming Service

Amazon has launched Cloud Player and Cloud Drive today, a new service that will allow customers to store music files on the company's servers but stream the content on their computers and mobile devices. Amazon is advertising the product as a way of streamlining the management of digital music collections, both in terms of providing easier access to files and preventing the possibility of losing everything in a disk drive crash.

Photos: Random Notes

Amazon is offering 5GBs of their Cloud Drive service for free, and charging for additional space. The retailer is also giving away 20GBs of space to those who purchase an MP3 album from the Amazon music store. Though the Cloud Drive will immediately store and stream anything purchased from the Amazon digital store, the service will be compatible with AAC files from Apple's iTunes store.

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Google and Apple have also been developing cloud-based storage systems for streaming, but Amazon is the first major digital media company to actually debut their cloud service. Earlier this month, hackers discovered that Google's cloud-based service was operational, though the company is still tinkering with that product.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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