Undoubtedly feeling the heat from Google's invite-only music service, Amazon announced on Wednesday that, for a limited time, customers who purchase a Cloud Drive storage plan will receive unlimited space for their MP3 and AAC (.m4a) music files. This applies to all six Cloud Drive options, ranging from the 20 GB for $20/year account to the 1 TB for $1000/year account.
The company didn't specify when the limited time offer would expire, but there's a good chance Cloud Drive users will have unlimited MP3/AAC storage until Google begins to charge for its virtual music locker. Currently Google's service is still in "beta," but the search engine giant made it clear that its seemingly unlimited storage would narrow down to locked capacities once the "beta" tag was dropped.
Wednesday Amazon also said that its created a new Cloud Player for the Apple iPad (2) tablet.
"Cloud Player, combined with unlimited space for music in Cloud Drive, enables customers to play music stored in the cloud on any Android phone, Android tablet, Mac, PC, and now on their iPad," the company said. "Cloud Player for Web has been optimized to offer customers streaming playback of their Cloud Drive music using the Safari browser for iPad. To access Cloud Player for iPad, customers simply open their Safari browser and visit (www.amazon.com/cloudplayer) to start listening to their music."
In addition to the new Cloud Player for iPad, Amazon is now allowing customers to store their previously-purchased Amazon MP3s in the Cloud Drive for free. Originally Amazon only offered to store music purchased during March 2011 and thereafter, but now any MP3 purchased from Amazon, whether it was yesterday or two years ago, can be stored for free without additional cost. This storage option doesn't count against the user's storage quota, Amazon said.
"Customers are already enjoying Cloud Drive and Cloud Player and now for just $20 a year, customers can get unlimited space for music," said Craig Pape Director of Amazon Music. "Additionally, we are adding free storage for all MP3s purchased from Amazon MP3, and support for the iPad. Our customers love Cloud Drive and Cloud Player and we're excited to innovate these services on their behalf."
All customers automatically start with 5 GB of free Cloud Drive storage to begin uploading their digital music digital files including photos, videos, music and documents which are stored securely and available via web browser on any computer.