Update: Apple has now released their iTunes Match service, which also places a ridiculously small limit on the number of allowed songs. As with Amazon, music lovers with larger collections – the very customers most likely to pay for the service – are excluded.
Much hay is being made over Amazon’s new Cloud Drive music storage system, which lets you upload your music collection to the cloud so you can listen to it from almost anywhere without having to carry it with you or worry about backing it up. Most of the articles I’m seeing, including David Pogue’s NY Times piece, are calling the service “Almost Free” or “Very Cheap.”
Huh? After 30 seconds of surfing around their FAQs, I had already determined it was way too expensive. While most articles about Cloud Drive claim it costs $1/GB, the rate chart at the bottom of this page makes it clear that that’s not quite true. It’s a tiered pricing plan, which means that if you own 250GBs of music, you have to pay for the 500GB service plan, which costs $500/year!
Collection size polls follow after the break.
This got me wondering: Either I’m completely mistaken in my assumption that most people who have been collecting music for decades have collections that weigh in at hundreds of gigabytes, or that people don’t mind the idea of putting a partial collection in the cloud, which strikes me as 1) A pain in the neck and 2) Very unsatisfying.
I wrote to David Pogue regarding this point in his column and received a very nice reply (within an hour!) saying “But as I noted in the column, the high-end space amounts get expensive fast!” So he does acknowledge that this problem makes the service untenable for certain users.
But is a 250GB collection actually “high end?” Thought I’d do a reality check and find out. There are two polls here – one for the number of tracks in your collection and another for the total file size of your collection. The second is more germane to Cloud Drive pricing, but I’d like to gather as much data as possible for both counts, so please take both polls. Thanks for weighing in!