Whenever you break some bad news, it always helps to soften the blow with something good. I got an email from Amazon recently about how their Amazon Cloud Player Upgrade was going to be good for me. Or so I thought. Who would have expected bad news to follow an email opening like this?
The Good News: The Amazon Cloud Player Upgrade
The subject line does nothing to prepare you for what’s to come: “We’ve Improved Cloud Player.”
“Oh, nice!” I thought. “I wonder what they’ve done.”
Here’s what the email said:
When you sign into the updated Cloud Player, we’ll upgrade your music to high-quality 256 Kbps audio at no additional charge.
Higher quality at no extra cost? Sounds great!
We’ve also made it easier to get your music from your computer to Cloud Player. We’ll match your songs to Amazon’s 20 million song catalog. All songs we match – even music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CDs – are instantly made available in Cloud Player.
Song matching was one aspect of the Amazon Cloud Player service that couldn’t keep up with Apple’s iCloud. It’s good to hear that Amazon is catching up.
Plus, MP3 songs and albums you purchase from Amazon – even those you purchased in the past – will be automatically saved to Cloud Player, which means you’ll have a secure backup copy of the music you buy at Amazon, free of charge.
You don’t have to worry about losing your music in a hard drive crash. It’s safe with Amazon forever.
These are all great things, but the email suddenly turns sour.
The Bad News: “Your Account is Changing”
What does this mean for you? Basically, any music that you’ve already imported to the Amazon Cloud Player won’t count against your Cloud Drive storage limit, but any music you upload from now on will.
The email goes on to point out that I have been on a promotional subscription to the Cloud Drive and Cloud Player services and that once my promotional period ends, I’ll be restricted to only 250 imported songs.
Or if I want to, I can upgrade to Cloud Player Premium for just $25 a year. This upgrade would allow me to hold 250,000 songs in my account, and as an added bonus, if I sign up before the end of my promotional period, I’ll get an extra 50 GB of storage on my Cloud Drive for no additional charge.
The Amazon Cloud Player Upgrade Explained
Amazon made it clear when I started my Cloud Drive and Cloud Player accounts that I was on a promotional subscription and that my level of service would change in the future. Despite the abruptness of this email and the clumsy attempt of making bad news good, it doesn’t come as a complete surprise.
Ever since the creation of the Amazon Prime program, Amazon has been trying to get more customers on a paid subscription. It may seem like a pain for most of the free-loading, deadbeat moochers online, but when it comes down to it, Amazon provides tons of value for a relatively low price on most of their services.
In the case of Amazon Prime, for less than $80 a year (and even less if you’re a student) you get free two-day shipping on all qualifying purchases. This can add up to quite a bit if you do much shopping on Amazon.com. And now Prime members also have access to stream Amazon Video for no extra cost and the ability to “borrow” a Kindle ebook once a month. This is a lot of value.
A similar case can be made for the Cloud Player upgrade. $25 a year is not a large expense for most people (if it is, keep your eyes open for ways to remedy that situation in the future). And if you love music, it’s nice to be able to store 250,000 tracks in the cloud at high quality. The beauty of the service is the ability to then stream your music from any device, using for example the Android Cloud Player app.
Depending on your needs, this service can be very useful for you. Click here to learn more about the Amazon Cloud Player.
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