Above the clouds: Amazon Cloud Drive

A little after midnight last night, Amazon rolled out it’s new cloud services, Amazon Cloud Drive & Player to much fanfare. The service gives Amazon users (most notably their digital goods buyers) an allotment of virtual storage to store your mp3 files (or other digital documents as the front page says). This is not to be confused too much with Amazon’s Web Services, which realistically can do the same thing. As a avid Amazon user, I found this service intriguing and decided to jump in take a look at it.

First things first, if you have Amazon account, this service will already be going for you. Supposedly, you can house/backup your music collection to it and have it available for you to reach from any pc and Amazon’s mp3 store app. More about that in a bit. You will be given a free 5 gigabytes (GBs) of storage off the top, with the ability to pay for extra allotment of space as you see fit to do so (which comes out to an dollar per gigabyte. Not a bad deal). What I’ve also seen is that you can get an upgrade to 20 GBs of storage for one year free with the purchase of an mp3 album from Amazon from now until the end of the year. Now when I first saw that, there didn’t seem to be any mention of the free for one year part of the 20gig upgrade. Either that has been changed now, or there was a part that I missed when I read through the page last night. That is something to be aware of, though. I went ahead an bought an album last night for the upgrade. I was going to anyway, so I figured why not. I will be curious to see what happens at the end of the year should I have more have than 5 gigs used of the service. I will say right now that 20 gigs, while a lot, is not a whole lot if you are the type to have say….an few hundred gigs of mp3s. I am will not confirm nor deny that I may be one of those people. And the 5 gigs you get for free is even less, but it is free and could be potentially useful in the long run.


There are many more in depth looks at the service, but I wanted give my thoughts on it from what I’ve seen so far. And the first thing I’ve noticed, which may or may not be an oversight, is that purchases that you’ve already made from Amazon’s mp3 store are not automatically put into your virtual space. You start off empty and will have to upload any songs or albums you wish to store there from your pc/mac. I should point out that this can include anything you’ve bought from Apple’s itunes, as well. Probably the un-DRMed music, though. However, if you buy any mp3s from Amazon, you have the option to have the go directly to your space and you can download them from there. In fact, I would make the suggestion that the first thing you do is go to the settings page after logging in to your Amazon account (the settings will be in ‘Your Amazon mp3 settings’ under ‘your digital items’ or ‘your account’ links at the top of the page) and set your purchases to go straight to the Cloud Drive. I believe you can choose to download your purchase and have it go the storage at the time of purchase. It’s just as easy to have it automatically go to the cloud and/or play from there. Backing up, it might not be that big of a hassle to upload your already purchased Amazon mp3s back to the drive but it would just make more sense to just have pushed what you’ve already bought over there. That’s just me, I guess. Oh, one very important thing to note is that any purchases made through Amazon’s mp3 store will NOT count against your storage space. A quick recheck of my storage used confirms that is the case. That is awesome, though still doesn’t exactly negate what I’ve just said previously.

Okay so, once you get your music uploaded or have made purchases from Amazon, you will want to play them. You can still download them and put them on your player of choice, or you can also play them from the web or from Amazon’s mp3 store app, which seems to be only the case on Android devices at the moment. I’ve seen reports that it doesn’t work on IOS devices(iphones, ipods, ipad, etc) yet. The Cloud Player interface is pretty simple as you can see below. You have your player controls at the bottom of the page and your list of songs/albums in the middle of the page. If in song view, just click on the little play icon of a highlighted track and go for it. If in album view, click the thumbnail to go to the listing and on from there. There are also buttons to play, add to a playlist, download track(s), and delete track(s) across the top of track listing. If you’ve spent any amount of time in the mp3 store, this will be familiar. At the top left of the page, there is the link to start uploading new tracks to the cloud. You cannot upload tracks from the mp3 downloader app at this time. You probably never will be able to. Would be nice, though.


So, you may not be near a pc, but have your Android device handy. Chances are, you already have the Amazon mp3 store app on your phone and updated. At the top right, is the link to the Cloud Player side. From there you can play either on device music, or download/ stream your music from the Cloud Drive. Streaming from 3g worked pretty well when I tried it. It’s not gapless playback, but what do you expect from streaming this way? Streaming from wifi also works quite well and naturally faster. That is also within norms, which is why a lot of apps ask you to stream/download from wifi if you can. You can, of course, hit the store and buy new tracks/albums from the app as always which is handy, but also can be the devil if you’re an impulse buyer…like some people might be *ahem*. What it has done is put the fire under the likes of Apple and Google who have been trying to pull off such a cloud storage/streaming music service for a little which coming. It’s not such a big surprise that Amazon beat them too it. They’ve had the infrastructure and relationships to do it already. Whether they can maintain the step ahead will remain to be seen.

All in all, its a pretty good package deal whether it will be ultimately whelming for anyone. I will kick it around some more, for sure. Not sure how often I will end up using it. It has also reminded me of another app/website that I’ve been meaning to talk about that serves a similar purpose. While I am the type who still buys physical albums from time to time, I buy a good bit from Amazon’s mp3 store, so for me this service will likely end being the storage space for what I get from them. That’s only logical and those purchases I’ve bought before this happened don’t equal up to 5 gigs yet that I can recall. What I would be curious to see if Amazon plans to make a value add for it’s Amazon Prime user base like it did with it’s video side. That could make things a little more interesting, though I’m not sure what they could do. Maybe 20 gigs of storage for Prime members? Only time will tell and I’m not wondering that because I use Prime (would be nice though). At any rate, this is a pretty cool deal if you’re already invested in Amazon’s ecosystem. If anything, it’s good for backing up your purchases through them for free.


I did say there were more in depth looks into this service. Check out the links below for a couple.

Tested.com: Amazon Debuts Cloud Player, Cloud Drive with Free 5GB

CNET First Look: Amazon Cloud Drive & Player


Musical orgy?? and other tidbits

Before I get into the actual post, I wanna call to you attention some things I just ran across. This might end up being a long post because it’s two in one. The second part has been held on to for a while and I’d figured i’d just throw it out now. So……

First off, I‘ve mentioned this before, but now it’s official. By the time you read this the new X-clan should be out. Go cop that! Here is a link from Honeysoul.com (where there are other previews) or you can go straight to MP3.com and stream it or X-Clan’s site. Makes no difference to me, just go.

Second, 9th Wonder is no longer with NC’s own Little Brother. The group is also trying to get away from their label. Read on that here. Why does this kind of remind me of the way that Slum Village was going? I can imagine how this went down being that the group didn’t seem to be getting as much spotlight as 9th Wonder’s production. We’ll see how the sound of the group comes out. It sounds promising with the producers they have on tap, but 9th’s sound just put them out there.

Finally, the Beastie Boys AND the Wu-tang Clan are coming out with new albums. The latter with a tribute to ODB. It just don’t stop and I, for one, am glad.

Now that that is out of the way, on to the post. It is music related….sort of. I dedicate it to The Mistress, Divine Lavender, and Missy. Don’t ask my why, just hope no one gets offended.

P.S. I did warn you, so if you need a break, do so and come back.


Who says sex and tech don’t mix. There are many examples of this, but I will just touch on these right now. Normally, I don’t talk sex or toys in this spot and there is just one thing I have to say about that. It’s about DAMN time I did. Hell, it’s the only thing I hadn’t covered around here and outside of tech, it’s my favorite subject. I come across stuff all the time, but never mention them.

Anyway, ladies, do you like music? Do you like to have a little “me time” while listening to some? Sure, you can grab a rabbit, turn on the radio and have at it but why stop there? Why not have something for that night out or long trips? Yes, friends, we are talking about music (or voice) activated vibrators. Plug in your favorite music playing apparatus, then plug the device on or in to yourself and turn on all parties involved. Now, since I don’t know of anyone who has tried these, nor do I know of any guinea pigs who would allow me to tape them using them test any of these out for me (well maybe I know one).
If you are looking, these are for you.

First up:

iBuzz – the music activated iPod sex toy


(UPDATE) I see there is now an IBuzz Two on the market. Now you can share. REALLY. 🙂 And here is some video!

Next: The Audi-oh! I love that name, I tell you. Here is a description from Gizmodo.

Gizmodo – click on through.


But wait, there’s more. Well, at least one more.

Last, for now, is the OhMiBod. This joint looks like a tampon, no two ways about it. The scroll wheel on the Ipod controls the vibration.

OhMiBod Music Powered Vibrator – iPod vibrator, mp3 vibrator , sex toy, vibrator …

You know, I shouldn’t even have to say much more. These items kind of speak for themselves.
Need help with a playlist? No, you don’t, but here are some suggestions:

“Get it Up” by The Time
“Oops” by Tweet
“Come”, “Insatiable”, “Get Off” or any number of other songs by Prince
“I Touch Myself” by T-Boz or any number of people. Or, as a co-worker of mine suggested, “Start me up” by The Rolling Stones.
“How can I ease the pain” – Lisa Fischer (the high note near the end should be something.)

Actually, i’d like to see TGrundy or Grantlove hook something up for this. Now, that I think about, I probably could too. I’m sure, though, that the lucky person using these devices could come up with suitable playlist for their experience. If anyone does try any of these, PLEASE let me know! better still, give me your suggestions for songs. I really want to know what you’d use (or want someone to use).

It’s the perfect gift for those who like to come on the go…without going too far.

You cannot escape the monopoly (old news now)

No matter what side of the US you are on you have to had dealings with either Bellsouth or AT&T. They used to be the same company for phone service and in parts cellphone service and was broken up in 1984. The reason, they were becoming a monopoly (and not the game, either).Now they are back together again like Roberta and Donny.

FCC approves $87b AT&T + BellSouth merger: now what? – Engadget

What does this mean? For phone service, not much unless you get into Voice over IP service like Vonage (AT&T is said to have or will have one too). You can’t move too many places that Ma Bell hadn’t touched. Cellphones, you’re still kinda screwed. If you were an AT&T wireless person when they got eaten by Cingular, say hi to and old friend. AT&T is reclaiming Cingular and changing it’s name back to AT&T wireless. (the formerly known as) SBC is a part of AT&T and I believe Suncom was leasing network from AT&T. Maybe Alltel too, who knows. As far as cell service, I think that leaves Verizon as a contender and number 2 in service. Well except that Verizon was once Bell Atlantic Mobile which is a Bellsouth property.

The moral of the story for you? If you plan on changing phone services (particularly cell phone), make sure you research the company to see if you are not leaving the company you are going back to. What goes around, comes around I guess.

I could be wrong about a couple of statements, but I will correct them upon further review.