Amazon launches Cloud Drive and Cloud Player

Amazon.com Inc. launched two offerings late Monday: Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player. The first lets you upload and store files such as music, videos and photos on Amazon’s servers, which you can get to from a Web browser on a Mac or PC. The second lets you play songs you’ve uploaded on your computer or on a smartphone that runs Google’s Android operating software. The “cloud” in the services’ names refers to the practice of storing content online and streaming it to a computer over the Internet

Google Inc. and Apple Inc. also are believed to be working on similar services to allow consumers to store and access music and other content when away from their home computer.

While Amazon will charge for the Cloud Drive service, it’s offering anyone with an Amazon account 5 gigabytes of free storage.

I’m a big fan of this trend and have been using Dropbox (2 gigs of free storage) since last fall with great satisfaction. As others have observed, the computer revolution started off with desktop “terminals” connected to mainframes, evolved into self-contained desktops with hundreds of gigs of storage including resident programs, and now seems to be headed back to the terminal model.

The Associated Press