My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Amazon Cloud Drive and the Music Industry - Apples, Lions, Tigers and Bears

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Amazon Cloud Drive and the Music Industry - Apples, Lions, Tigers and Bears

The nearest way to glory is to strive to be what you wish to be, thought to be

Socrates, quoted by Cicero

Amazon it truly on the path to greatness with an idea that is as old as the hills: Streaming Music. This as stated in the article “Amazon launches Digital Music Locker”, published March 28, 2011 10:16 PM PDT by Steven Musil, Digital Media - CNET News and corroborated by the article “Amazon Cloud Player lets you play your music from anywhere”, published March 29, 2011 by Ben Parr, Mashable.

Not bad for a company whose eReader, the Amazon Kindle, may be accelerating eBook Piracy as noted in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Piracy and E-Books in a Tale of Two Cities”.

The surprise announcement on Monday March 28th 2011 in the evening of Amazon’s Music Locker Service, dubbed the Amazon Cloud Drive with its associated Amazon Cloud Player is a big deal.

Yet it is so simple and elegant in its function. Basically it is an over-glorified, exalted DropBox clone that allows people to stream their own musical content via a Cloud Based app, Amazon Cloud Player, on any device.

Apple purchased Lala in August 2009 as stated in the articles “Apple buys Lala, entering the streaming music business”, published August 12 2009 12:06 AM, USA Today and the article What Apple's Lala Acquisition may Mean for iTunes”, published December 5, 2009 1:26 PM By Paul Suarez, PC World.

Thus it is now clear that with the Amazon Cloud Drive and its Amazon Cloud Player,  Amazon has Cupertino-based Apple Inc in their sights as stated in the article “With Cloud move, Amazon has Apple in its sights”, published March 29, 2011 5:32 PM PDT by Josh Lowensohn, Apple - CNET News

These articles speak to the ruminations of Apple Inc going into the Cloud, due to the unpopularity of their MobileMe Platform, an overpriced Data Storage service for backup of purchased content.

Google also had plans to launch their as-yet named Google Music Streaming Service as stated in the article “Hey iTunes, here comes Google Music, Spotify”, published January 31, 2011 2:16 PM PST by Greg Sandoval, Media Maverick - CNET News. Alas, they too are late, as Amazon  has beaten them both to the punch!

At that time I was working at Telecom Provider CLARO as a Radio Frequency Technician (2008 to 2009), I was still at the UWI (University of the West Indies) finishing up a course for my Degree in Electronics and Chemistry. DropBox was a tool I use to do collaborative work with other students, as it afforded the easy sharing of files and folders.

Not to mention giving me the ability to back up my school work, as nothing can drive you crazy as losing your work after TWO (2) HOURS of typing your hard-found research.


Worse, when you have a Thumb drive failure and you lose all your data, despite Linux and other attempts to recover the Data.

So during my four (4) year sojourn while at the UWI (University of the West Indies), DropBox and Re-writable CD’s became my best friend. This as with the prevalence of Dell Optiplex computers on Campus, burning a backup copy onto an externally mounted Drive every other weekend became de riguer safeguard against every eventuality from misplaced Thumb Drive to Thumb Drive failures.

DropBox usage and the prevalence of Laptops is the reason why I declared the UWI (University of the West Indies) the Pirate Bay of the Caribbean as stated in my blog article on “UWI and Piracy - The Real Pirate Bay” and “UWI and Piracy - Release the Kraken”.

For the beguiling desire for clarity, DropBox or Re-writable CD’s are examples of externally Mounted Drives, with an Online Storage Service such as DropBox being connected to the user via the Internet.

Interestingly too, in many a collaborative Physics Lab effort while on Campus, my younger colleagues would play their music across the Internet by sharing the music files via DropBox and playing the file via the shared folder on their Laptop or Desktop.

At this point, with the obvious connections to DropBox, one may be forgiven for asking how this stands out in a world with so many means of streaming music and other content.

Even HDTV (High Definition Television) is a form of Streaming content.

This being done over WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) Networks with proprietary Chip and Golding codes as argued in my blog article on the subject entitled “Broadcasting and Digital Switch Over - Back to the Future to complete with LIME TV”.

Granted, you can pretty much do this on YouTube, Yahoo Music or even Spotify, the would-be Apple iTunes killer as heralded in my blog article entitled “Spotify and Freemium in the Cloud - Shake, Rattle and Role love for Internationals”.

How this differs, however, is in the fact that, like DropBox, you can stream your OWN music content. As in the tracks you already purchased, uploaded to your Amazon Cloud Drive and replayed with your Amazon Cloud Player. It even has preset folders for Music and Files!

Like I said, quote “an over-glorified, exalted DropBox”!

Unlike DropBox, however, you have to pay for your storage in excess of 1000 GB, with the first 5GB free. For storage in excess of 5GB, your Amazon Cloud Drive can be rented via Credit Card or PayPal, the prices for the service resplendent on the Geezam Blog in an article entitled “Amazon Cloud Drive launches”.

 Go Daddy offers cheap Web hosting prices for the budding enterprises. Thus, one wonders if clones of this Amazon Cloud Drive streaming service may begin to show early green sprouts.

That is, if they are not already proliferated on many a University Campus Abroad as a means of avoiding the current ongoing crackdown on piracy as stated in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Digital Music and Video Piracy - A Land Grab for Taxes on the Internet”.

This despite the coming legal challenges by the RIAA (Recording Industry Artiste Association) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Artiste Association) as sure as rain in the Amazon Rain forest is to come.

Despite their collective arguments as enunciated in the article “Music labels look for rights violations in Amazon Cloud”, published March 31, 2011 4:00 AM PDT by Greg Sandoval, Media Maverick - CNET News, the Amazon Cloud Drive and its associated Cloud-based Amazon Cloud Player is completely legit. Straight up, playa!

For one, you are allowed to upload and stream to single IP addressable devices only, be they a browser on a computer or a browser on a phone.

Then, there is the fact that you cannot download, only upload a copy of your songs to the Amazon Cloud Drive and replayed ONLY via the Cloud-based Amazon Cloud Player.

No sharing or downloading, so it does not qualify as Distribution. And within the ambit of Intellectual and Copyright Law, one is allowed to make backups of Digital content that one has purchased, the main argument that makes CD Burners and Burning software such as Nero legit.

Hollywood, represented by the MPAA (Motion Picture Artiste Association), may be backing out soon, as the small size of the free 5GB Amazon Cloud Drive is great for music, but impractical for movie streaming.

The Cloud-based Amazon Cloud Player does not support movie streaming, hence it is no challenger to their Film Industry supported UV (UltraVoilet) Movie Streaming Cloud-Based service the silver-haired members of the MPAA (Motion Picture Artiste Association) plan to debut in the Summer of 2011 as stated in the article “Why Hollywood isn't afraid of Amazon's Cloud”, published March 31, 2011 7:27 AM PDT by Greg Sandoval, Media Maverick - CNET News.

Definitely and from a purely legal standpoint, Amazon Cloud Drive and its companion the Cloud-based Amazon Cloud Player are definitely not scared of Jazmine Sullivan’s Lions, Tigers and Bears in the form of the Music and Movie Industry!

So, we have yet another would-be Apple iTunes assassin in the motley crue along with Spotify that allows users to select and stream their own music, Ronin (1998) Style.

Bets anyone?

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