By Stephen Schenck | July 6, 2011 7:52 PM
Is the recent announcement that Spotify is coming to the United States causing Amazon to feel the heat of competition? Amazon just announced a generous new feature for subscribers to its Cloud Drive storage service, letting them store an unlimited amount of music for listening with its Cloud Player app.
The way this works is that as long as you have some kind of paid Cloud Drive plan – no dice, free 5GB users – you can store an unlimited amount of MP3 and AAC files without counting against your storage capacity (plans range from 20GB to 1TB, at $1/GB/year).
There are some weird restrictions, like you’re forbidden from uploading non-music MP3 files; sorry, book-on-tape fans. Files that don’t meet Amazon’s rules will still count against your data allotment.
The troubling thing about this announcement is that Amazon is clear from the start that this is a limited-time-only promotion, so what happens afterwards? If you uploaded 25GB of music on your 20GB plan, is Amazon going to one day discontinue this offer and either bill you for the next higher Cloud Drive tier, or just delete the files that would push you over the edge? It seems like an important point to address, but we can’t find any trace that Amazon’s discussed the issue.
Assuming that this offer last a good, long while, how does it change your ranking of Cloud Player vs. Google Music vs. what you expect from Apple’s iTunes-in-the-cloud?