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Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) on Tuesday launched cloud Drive and Cloud Player for Web and Android—three services that allow you to store music in a repository and play on the Web and smartphones.

Among the key points:

  • You can upload your library.
  • Anyone that bought an Amazon MP3 can get 20GB for free.
  • Mac and PC compatible.
  • On Android, the Cloud Player is an update to the Amazon MP3 app.
  • Everyone starts with 5GB of Cloud Drive storage.
  • Cloud Drive uses Amazon Web Services S3.
  • Plans start at 20GB for $20 a year and basically run $1 a year per GB.

With the move Amazon gets the jump on other services that are likely from Apple and Google.

Here are three thoughts on the move:

  • First, Cloud Drive is a big piece of Amazon’s tablet ambitions. The service will be critical to uploading content for any tablet that Amazon launches. And Amazon’s Android market rides shotgun.
  • If Amazon doesn’t launch a tablet it just put itself at the center of the Android ecosystem.
  • Cloud Drive is about music today, but it’s essentially a cloud service for other things like documents and photos.

And finally, Cloud Drive is very easy to use. It’s essentially the consumerization of Amazon Web Services.

Source: Amazon Launches Cloud Drive: An Easy to Use Tablet Play