Amazon Releases Cloud Drive, Will it Kill You?

Yesterday, Amazon.com launched Cloud Drive, their digital storage service. Many in the tech world believe this is the first shot in the war of "cloud computing," a term for networked, online storage space. To continue the absurd war metaphor, the Wall Street Journal said Amazon "is angling to build a comparable beachhead in the battle over consumers." Screw the metaphors; we're just going to say it: Amazon's Cloud Drive is more important than D-Day. We're sure you have some questions about this, allow us to answer them.

How much will Amazon's service cost? Free for 5 gigabytes of storage, but they'll up it to 20GB if you download an album from Amazon directly. Hey, Enrique Iglesias' "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)" is only 99 cents! There's your extra storage right there. After that, it's one dollar annually for every gigabyte you add.

What kinds of files can you store on it? Photos, videos, documents are all allowed on Cloud Drive, but the main focus is music. You can upload MP3s or AACs and "OPP" with either format. If you buy music directly from Amazon.com, it won't count against your storage space. For example, you could download 1,000 gigabytes worth of Enrique Iglesias' "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)" and not have it take up any of your allotted 20 gigabytes.

Can I access Cloud Drive on my iPhone? You can access Cloud Drive from any Android-powered smart phone.

I think you misheard me. Can I access Cloud Drive on my iPhone? No.

Will Cloud Drive kill me? No.

What if I am using it and my computer and I fall into a filled bathtub? Or if I'm accessing it on my phone and I distractedly walk into traffic? Possibly.

Are other companies working on Cloud services? Yes, cloud computing has been around for a while. Sites like Flickr and Pandora use the technology, and Apple and Google are working on their own services.

Should I care about Amazon's Cloud Drive? Probably not. It's a nice day, go grab a Cosi sandwich and have lunch outside.

Tech Giants Look Forward to Cloudy Days [WSJ]

[ngreene@villagevoice.com / @nickgreene]


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