Amazon’s Cloud Drive/Cloud Music Player is intriguing. It lets you play music from an online storage folder. It’s easy for Amazon to implement since they already have all the music files, so the millionth user with a hit song doesn’t take an extra 3MB of storage, just another pointer to one copy of Lady_Gaga_Born_This_Way_240kbps_high.mp3. Amazon will offer this for every MP3 you buy from them, so it’s a competitive feature for their music store against the iTunes juggernaut.
It’s a kick in the pants for Google that Amazon beat them to it:
Google has nearly all the pieces to do the same: I can already upload music files to Google Docs, Google has a checkout and an Android app store. I’m sure it’s a humiliating wakeup call that Amazon got there first. Google Docs even has the nifty “Share” feature, though enabling it for music would trigger yet another epic legal battle.[me on Slashdot]
I’m a very minor pirate, I don’t think I’ve ever pirated something that wasn’t freely made available to me or that I can legally purchase. But it’s fascinating to imagine the ways that companies’ control over 1s and 0s can be subverted (my thoughts on pictures) thanks to their innate fluidity and infinite replicatability. Here Amazon is letting me access my music from any device anywhere. My.MP3.com tried something similar and was sued into oblivion. But you don’t need a company to provide this service, and who is “me” exactly? When it comes to digital files,
The benefits to storing your music collection online are so great that many people must already be doing it, including the intersection of rich and record collector. Karl Lagerfeld must get tired of lugging his Louis Vuitton trunk-ful of iPods around, I’m sure Elton John is back to acquiring vinyl, I doubt Music Man Murray is going to delete the MP3s of his 300,000 records.
I don’t see what’s illegal in storing your legally-purchased music in your own online storage. I don’t think the record companies can force you to keep the username and password of your online music folder private, any more than your car company can force you to lock your car up. The reason people don’t share a read-only password is they’d have to pay their ISP big bandwidth fees when huge crowds come to freeload. But the rich can afford it. When will some celebrity, Russian oligarch or Chinese billionaire, mad at the record companies and eager for infamy, go anarchist value-destroying Robin Hood for us and let slip that the username:password for http://RomanAbramovich.ru/AllMyMusic is boris:Chelsea ?[me on Slashdot]