First up, Amazon has announced that anyone who opts for a paid Cloud Drive plan can store an unlimited amount of MP3 and AAC music files for a limited time at no additional charge. The cheapest plan is $20 per year for 20GB of storage — but for now music files won’t count against that limit.
That “limited time” bit is troubling. What happens if you upload 100GB of music to Amazon this week and a year from now the company tells you the only way to keep streaming them is if you pony up more cash? I guess worse things have happened though.
Amazon will continue to offer 5GB of storage space to all users free of charge. Digital music purchased from Amazon is never counted against your limit though.
The company has also announced that the Cloud Player is now optimized for the Apple iPad. There’s no app to download from iTunes. Instead the web app is designed to work with the Safari web browser on the iPad.
Amazon’s web-based Cloud Player has been working in mobile Safari for the past two months — and you can use the web app on an iPhone or iPod touch as well, but you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time moving left, right, up and down to navigate since the new web site has been designed with the iPad’s larger screen in mind.
Android users can use the Amazon MP3 app to purchase music from Amazon or to stream music using the built-in Cloud Player feature.
It’s not entirely clear if Apple would have approved a native iPad app if Amazon had submitted one, since Apple is preparing to launch its own cloud-based service for storing music, apps, and other media files.