The Amazon Cloud Player is a nice idea but in our early testing is very slow and locks up on the Droid. After installing the Cloud Music Player, an Adobe AIR App, on our PC it was easy to upload a catalog of songs. We grabbed about 600 tracks, hit upload and walked away from the PC. These are all songs that we own on CDs that were ripped to MP3s at 256kbps.
We immediately fired up the Motorola DroidX to test the app. While the app launched quickly and we instantly were able to see our collection of music, getting anything to play was far from elegant. It started out okay with instant access to one song but subsequent tracks caused the app to lockup or simply show a spinning progress cog.
We tried it with both WiFi and 3G connections but to no avail. Concerned the connection might be spotty we fired up both Pandora and Mog and both provided instant access to multiple tracks. Next, we restarted the DroidX and tried the Amazon Cloud app fresh and got the same results. It barely worked and was only able to play a couple of tracks before it simply stopped responding. From a PC it worked fine but we're more interested in the smartphone app.
It’s nice to have 5BG or space online and an extra 20GB or whatever Amazon is offering as a reward for purchasing an MP3 album; however it gets gobbled up quickly. And when it comes to our own collection we really only listen to mixes we've made for working out or parties. Five GBs is a little over 1000 128kbps tracks. That's not a lot of music and frankly we'd rather listen to Pandora and Mog for music discovery and fast access to countless numbers of tracks. So the value prop here is marginal.
We buy a lot of stuff from Amazon and find it one of the best shopping experiences around, but this cloud music experience was very disappointing. Sure you could use the space for other stuff but in the age of 1TB drives how many people want to choose 5GB, 20GB or even 100GB of pictures that need to be backed up. Just back it all up and don’t bother me with the numbers. Plus we're not clear on what the monthly charges will be over time and based on what we've seen from other cloud providers it will probably change over time.
The issue is simple. What consumers want and what’s a sustainable product are very different things. Mozy, Carbonite and others simply can’t do unlimited everything and make money. Amazon's offering right now isn't elegant and it's too small. While the free 5GBs is nice we're simply rather stream channels from Pandora and be surprised with new tracks or seek out new tracks on Mog. It's a better experience. Sure it's nice to "rediscover" tracks we own and make playlists and all that but it gets old quickly.
Visit Amazon for more information and to test the cloud offering for yourself. As a back up solution it's cool for small amounts of data but as a music player Amazon has some work to do.
Amazon Cloud Music Player for Droid Review
- Category: MP3 and Portable