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Amazon May Be Launching Film, Music Locker Too

By - Source: CNET | B 5 comments

Amazon may be announcing a digital locker service next week.

Unnamed sources have told CNET that Amazon is gearing up to announce a virtual locker service next week. The online retailer has reportedly been in talks with major record companies and Hollywood film studios to provide a cloud-based service that allows customers to store their existing music, film, and book collections in the cloud-- even content not purchased from Amazon.com.

Sources claim that Amazon is rushing to get a cloud-based service launched, as both Apple and Google are scrambling to get their offerings negotiated and online soon. Currently Amazon hasn't landed all the necessary licenses, but the online retailer is expected to reveal the service before agreements are set in stone anyway. It's also speculated that consumer demand alone for an Amazon virtual locker may push record and film studios into a licensing agreement.

Friday brought reports that Apple signed on Warner Music Group for its unannounced digital music locker. The service is believed to be one part of a major overhaul to Apple's current MobileMe offering, and may actually cost users $20 per year for storing music files in the cloud. But given the Amazon report released on Monday, Apple may be moving everything to the cloud, offering much-needed storage services not only for music, but for movies, ebooks and other media purchased from iTunes.

Friday also brought reports that Google had officially began internal testing of its music locker service following previous reports that it was already up and running. The unnamed music service was discovered by an XDA Developers forum member who installed Google 3.0 Honeycomb on a smartphone. Now Google employees are supposedly testing the new service, and will reportedly be much different than what was discovered on Honeycomb weeks ago.

As for the Amazon digital locker, the online retailer already has experience offering content from the cloud. Currently consumers can purchase e-books and download them to any registered device using the Kindle app, a PC or the actual Kindle e-reader itself. Consumers can also purchase movies and TV episodes through Amazon's Instant Video and watch them from any compatible device (PC, notebook, etc). Subscribers to the Prime service can even stream any one of 5,000 TV episodes and movies for no additional cost.

Out of the three, Google's offering may not be quite up to par with Amazon and Apple. Although Google offers an e-book service, and the music service is in the works, it currently offers nothing on the video front. Perhaps that will change in the coming months.

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  • 1 Hide
    dalethepcman , March 28, 2011 10:41 PM
    I don't care how many movies and songs they let you store. Using netflix I pay $8/month and I get to watch all of their movies whenever I want. Why would I pay Apple or anyone $20 to watch my movies and listen to my music?

    "Thanks for purchasing Avatar through iTunes, would you like to watch it on your TV for only $20 more?"

    no thank you!
  • 0 Hide
    dogman_1234 , March 28, 2011 10:48 PM
    is there such a thing as a company growing/being too big or spread out?
  • 2 Hide
    joytech22 , March 29, 2011 2:07 AM
    Not relevant to most of the world since most of the world can't even use it's services.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , March 29, 2011 8:14 AM
    So Apple not only has iTunes that forces you from now till eternity to use it's hardware for playback, but now they will store the content for you in the Cloud so that you can never actually own it.

    If you stop paying for their $20 a year Cloud service, does that mean you will be denied access to the stuff you have already bought?

    If so they you have not actually bought the music, you are just renting it.
    A perpetual income stream forever and ever.

    Here's a really good idea, for about $70 you can buy a 2TB HDD and put about half a million songs on it and never have to pay the Apple Cloud-Tax.

  • 0 Hide
    guruofchem , March 29, 2011 1:46 PM
    Amazon announced the service this morning - 5 GB of cloud space and a player to access music stored in your Cloud for PCs and Android devices. I worry though that we have two antagonistic trends at work - the content providers are pushing bandwidth-intensive cloud storage, while service providers seem to be more vigorously setting download quotas. Collusion to make both sides rich, perhaps...?
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