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  1.    #1  
    Hi all,

    FYI.

    Take care,

    Jay

    Amazon Faces Backlash Over 'Music Locker' Service
    By REUTERS, March 29, 2011

    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/...gewanted=print

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A new Amazon.com Inc service that lets customers store songs and play them on a variety of phones and computers is facing a backlash from the music industry that could ignite a legal battle.

    Amazon's Cloud Drive, announced on Tuesday, allows customers to store music files on the company's Web servers instead of their own hard drives and play them over an Internet connection directly from Web browsers and on phones running Google Inc's Android software.

    Amazon beat rivals Google and Apple Inc into the market for "music locker" services, which are meant to appeal to consumers frustrated by the complexities of storing their favorite songs at work, home and on their smartphones. Apple and Google were expected to launch their services at the end of last year.

    Shares of Amazon rose nearly 3 percent, but Cloud Drive may push the company into legal gray area.

    Sony Music, home to artists such as Shakira and Kings of Leon, was upset by Amazon's decision to launch the service without new licenses for music streaming, said spokeswoman Liz Young.

    "We hope that they'll reach a new license deal," Young said, "but we're keeping all of our legal options open."

    Music labels were alerted of the plans last week. Only later did Amazon address the issue of negotiating licenses, one source close to the discussions said.

    That executive called the move "somewhat stunning" and said some within the media industry said the service might illegal.

    "I've never seen a company of their size make an announcement, launch a service and simultaneously say they're trying to get licenses," said the executive, who requested anonymity because the discussions were not public.

    In 2007, EMI sued MP3tunes, which offered a similar service. Consumers are allowed to store music files on their own computers, but it is unclear whether they have that right when they use remote storage services offered by cloud computing.

    Amazon's service is part of Amazon's plan to be a bigger player in the digital content business and reduce its reliance on the sales of CDs and books.

    "They don't have leadership in digital formats," said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis. "The next big race is locker services -- that's what we want."

    Gillis said he expected Google to introduce a remote music storage service in May and for Apple to follow suit in June.

    Although Amazon's service lets users listen to music from most computers or phones regardless of where they bought the song, it will not work on Apple's iPhones or have an "app" on that company's devices.

    Amazon said customers would initially get 5 gigabytes of free storage, enough for 1,000 to 1,250 songs. They can buy another 20 gigabytes for $20 a year.

    Alternatively, a customer can get an upgrade to 20 gigabytes of free storage with the purchase of any MP3 format album from Amazon. New music purchases from Amazon saved directly to the cloud service will not count against any storage quota.

    Users can save music files in MP3 as well as the AAC format, which is the standard for Apple's iTunes service.

    Amazon is also offering Cloud Player, which will allow music fans to listen to, download and make playlists on any Web browser as well as any application using Google's Android operating system.

    Shares of Amazon were up 2.6 percent at $173.81 in afternoon trading, while Google rose 0.6 percent to $579.00. Apple fell 0.5 percent to $348.80. (Additional reporting by Yinka Adegoke, Paul Thomasch and Kenneth Li in New York and Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Lisa Von Ahn)
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  2. #2  
    I'll say it again. The RIAA needs to die. Licenses again and again so people can play their own music is annoying, sheesh!!
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  3. #3  
    I'm trying to figure out the argument. Is it that since it's theoretically accessible via any internet connection, it's possible that a person's "locker" will be used as some sort of public jukebox? That's the only thing I can figure...

    You're right, though...it's utter BS and is an outdated mentality.
  4. #4  
    Well I can see trying to resell the service as another music stream app if someone somehow gets unlimited bandwidth to stream to the public. I'm not sure how though these days with all these caps popping up. But perhaps Amazon can enforce a ban on that in case someone tries.


    But so what if someone wants to stream at a party or the office so others can listen? Why does anyone, even Google, Apple or Amazon, have to keep paying so their customers can listen to their own music. Back in the day(yes I'm that old), you bought music and listened to it whenever and however you could, and other people could listen too. Now there's a fee for everything!! Or you're a pirate according to RIAA.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  5. #5  
    Amazon responds:

    "Cloud Player is an application that lets customers manage and play their own music. It's like any number of existing media management applications. We do not need a license to make Cloud Player available. The functionality of saving MP3s to Cloud Drive is the same as if a customer were to save their music to an external hard drive or even iTunes."
    Amazon Cloud Player upsets Sony Music over streaming license, Amazon shrugs -- Engadget
  6.    #6  
    HI all,

    We may be straying into territory that I know nothing about...with that said, I want to ask all of you the following.

    Isn't HP exploring the cloud with webOS? Didn't HP buy a cloud music company? If HP is pursuing a cloud for all of us with webOS don't they assume we would upload our music that we already "OWN"?

    Take care,

    Jay
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  7.    #7  
    Hi,

    Here is more info.

    Take care,

    Jay

    The Cloud That Rains Music
    By DAVID POGUE, March 30, 2011

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/te...gewanted=print

    For years now, the most popular music system — Apple’s — has worked like this. You buy song files from the iTunes store. They download to your computer. If you want to listen to them on the road, you connect your iPod or iPhone to that computer and copy the files to it.

    Amazon, whose online music store competes with Apple’s, has two problems with that arrangement. First, your music library is messily scattered. When you buy a new song at home, you can’t listen to it at work, at least not without copying it manually. You might buy a song on your phone, but it won’t be on your computer until you do a sync. And if your music library is big, you can fit only a portion of it onto your phone.

    Second, Amazon wishes more people would buy music from its store instead of iTunes.

    This week, the online retailer took the wraps off a slick suite of software and services that solves both problems, and offers some sweet incentives for you to consider it.

    Amazon’s big idea is that instead of sitting on your computer, your music collection will sit online ( or “in the cloud,” as hipsters insist on saying). That way, you can listen to it from any computer — at home, at work, at a friend’s — by logging into a special Web page called the Amazon Cloud Player.

    You can also listen to anything in your music collection on an Android phone. No copying or syncing of music is ever required; all your songs are always available everywhere, and they don’t hog any storage on the phone itself.

    The Cloud Player is a simple, clean, polished music-playback page that looks vaguely like iTunes. It’s dominated by a list of your songs, which you can sort and search. The album art shows up. You can drag songs into playlists. You can play back a song, album or playlist, complete with Shuffle and Repeat functions. You can download songs to your computer (they go directly into iTunes or Windows Media Player). Sound quality is excellent (the streaming is the full 256 kilobits a second of the original files, if you’re into that sort of statistic).

    There’s a free Uploader app that lets you send your existing music files from your Mac or PC to that same online library, so those songs, too, are available from anywhere. The app is clever enough to preserve your songs and playlists the way you organized them in iTunes or Windows Media Player. (Just note that it recognizes only MP3 and AAC files — not ring tones, audio books or WAV files. Copy-protected songs need not apply.)

    The app for Android phones is similar. It offers two big buttons: one for listening to your online music collection, and another for playing the music files that are actually on the phone. There’s no way to mix and match — to create a playlist containing some songs from each source, for example.

    Amazingly enough, all of this is absolutely free.

    Well, sort of.

    Songs are pretty big files. That, after all, is one huge advantage of Amazon’s cloud idea: moving those hefty music files to the Internet frees up space on your computers and phones.

    To get you started, Amazon offers everyone five gigabytes of free space online — enough room for about 1,200 MP3 songs. You can buy more storage; it costs $1 a gigabyte a year. If you have a 50-gigabyte song collection, for example, you’ll pay $50 a year. That can get awfully steep at the high end (like $1,000 for 1,000 gigabytes) — high enough to make “pay $15 a month for unlimited music” sites like Rhapsody look awfully appealing.

    The storage is good for more than music files, though. Part II of the Amazon announcement is the Cloud Drive, an online hard drive a lot like the Apple iDisk or Microsoft SkyDrive.

    On this virtual drive, you can store anything at all: photos, Office documents — anything you might like to back up or to retrieve later from any other computer. Even if you never use any of Amazon’s music features, having this five-gigabyte drive online is a pleasant surprise, free to anyone who wants it. (You can view the photos and play the music you’ve stored there, but otherwise, it’s just a place for parking files, not opening them.)

    Amazon takes the sting out of its storage prices with some special offers. For example, if you buy an album from Amazon’s music store, your Cloud Drive gets bumped up to 20 gigabytes for the year — no charge.

    The company’s real genius, though, is this little gem: Any songs you buy from Amazon don’t count against your storage limit. If you start with five gigabytes free and buy 20 songs from Amazon, you still have five gigabytes free.

    Better yet, you can decide what you want to happen when you buy a song or an album: download it to your computer (the old way), or store it instantly in your Cloud Player (incredibly convenient).

    In other words, if you like Amazon’s online-storage concept, you might have a hard time coming up with reasons to shop Apple’s store.

    But that’s “if.” There is cause for pause. Nine causes, actually:

    ¶Cloud Player is available only in the United States.

    ¶There are plenty of similar systems from smaller companies. Rdio, Audio Galaxy, Spotify, Audio Box, GrooveShark — all of these offer pieces of the Amazon concept for less money. Each has various drawbacks, though. And Amazon’s size inspires a lot more confidence in its longevity.

    ¶Apple and Google are both reportedly working on similar services.

    ¶Amazon’s MP3 store is nowhere near as rich or full-featured as Apple’s. (Often, however, it’s cheaper. You can find plenty of examples like Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”: $1.30 on iTunes, $1 on Amazon.)

    ¶It’s great that songs you buy from Amazon don’t count against your storage limit. Unfortunately, songs you’ve bought from Amazon before this week do.

    ¶There’s no Cloud Player app for the iPhone, iPod or iPad — only Android phones. Nobody’s saying exactly why there’s no Amazon music app for i-gadgets, but it might have something to do with that fact that Amazon’s system competes directly with Apple’s own store and software.

    ¶It’s not exactly clear how private your music files are, or whether they’re even yours. Amazon’s license agreement says: “You give us the right to access, retain, use and disclose your account information and your files.” And also: “We do not guarantee that your files will not be subject to misappropriation, loss or damage and we will not be liable if they are. You’re responsible for maintaining appropriate security, protection and backup of your files.” Yikes.

    ¶The Amazon Cloud Player is coming out at precisely the wrong time in the great timeline of cellphone computing. The age of the unlimited data plan is rapidly ending; AT&T eliminated its “all the Internet you want for $30” plan, and Verizon’s similar plan will end shortly. Music files eat up your limited monthly data allotments quickly, so don’t think that Amazon Cloud Player means you’ll be listening to your tunes during daily hourlong hikes. Listening to your music collection on your phone is something you’ll want to do primarily when you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot.

    ¶You’ll have no music when you’re in the subway, on a plane without Wi-Fi, or anywhere else there’s no cell service or Internet hot spot. (Unless you download songs to your laptop or phone in advance — but doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose?)

    Nonetheless, the Cloud Drive/Cloud Player is beautifully done, rock solid in operation and every bit as convenient as Amazon promises. A lot of people will find it a joy to use, a good value and — just as Amazon hoped — a compelling reason to shop from Amazon instead of iTunes.


    E-mail: pogue@nytimes.com
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  8.    #8  
    Hi all,

    The music business may have apoplexy over Amazon's cloud program, but Hollywood thinks it makes good business sense!

    take care,


    Jay

    Why Hollywood isn't afraid of Amazon's cloud
    by Greg Sandoval, March 31, 2011 7:27 AM PDT


    Why Hollywood isn't afraid of Amazon's cloud | Media Maverick - CNET News

    Amazon's new cloud service has generated a lot less angst in Hollywood than it has at the major music labels.


    (Credit: Greg Sandoval/CNET)

    On Monday evening, Amazon announced the Cloud Drive, which enables users to upload e-books, songs, films, and any other digital media to Amazon's servers. Users can then access their content from any Web-connected devices. Among the major Internet companies delivering digital entertainment, Amazon is first to make good on the promise of ubiquitous access to content.

    Amazon gave very little notice to the major film studios or record labels that it planned to handle their content this way, sources from both sectors told CNET. Amazon managers have said in recent days that licenses aren't necessary for what they're offering now. Many in the music industry aren't convinced, and the studios are still reviewing the service.

    But already, decision makers at some of the film companies have concluded that Amazon's Drive poses few threats and could be a boon by helping to ignite consumer interest in the cloud, said one studio source.

    Partner with the studios?
    UltraViolet (UV) is the name of new technology standards expected to debut this summer that Hollywood hopes will get people collecting movies again. UV was created by The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, a consortium that includes five of the six big film studios--with the exception of Disney--and numerous movie-sector allies, such as Microsoft, Nokia, Sony, Comcast, and Netflix.

    UV is designed to ensure that consumers will be able to play their downloaded movies and TV shows on a wide range of devices and services, as well as store their media on third-party servers (what's commonly referred to as the cloud). According to film industry sources, Amazon has informed some of the studios over the past few days that it won't adopt UV right away but has signaled a deal could be worked out later. Amazon, said the sources, has expressed interest in streaming the video that users have uploaded to its cloud.

    And some of the studios are OK with that. One of the hurdles that UV faces is finding an effective way to introduce the concept of digital lockers to the public, the sources said. Now they have the Internet's top retailer pitching the cloud to the masses. If Amazon's service is successful at attracting customers, it might even convince some of the naysayers in the film industry to hop aboard, said the sources. "Amazon can get people to buy in," said one film industry source. "They could demonstrate the value proposition."

    For instance, Time Warner is a UV backer but has yet to provide much needed support, said the sources. Cloud video services would be severely limited unless HBO, the pay TV service owned by Time Warner, relaxes some its licenses. HBO has exclusive electronic distribution rights for new releases from three studios: Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, and NBC Universal. That means no other outlet can show a movie that is being offered at HBO.

    Time Warner execs have told UV members that they are confident an agreement will be worked out soon, CNET reported earlier this month. But studio sources said Time Warner has said the same thing for months. Still no deal.

    If Amazon were to launch a cloud movie service now, a customer could buy a movie, store it in his or her Amazon locker, and then be blocked from accessing the film during the blackout period. That's not a very compelling offer.



    To catch up on the music industry's reaction to Amazon's cloud, click on the photo.

    (Credit: Greg Sandoval/CNET)

    Poor video proposition
    But Amazon isn't likely to run into that problem anytime soon. At the same time Amazon debuted Cloud Drive, the company also unveiled the Cloud Player, which enables users to play their music from Amazon's servers. The company, however, did not offer a similar player for video.

    This is another reason why the studios aren't panicked by Amazon's new cloud service. It just isn't built for video, say the sources. Not only does Cloud Drive not have a video player, but the price won't be compelling for those with film libraries.

    Cloud Drive's online storage service offers 5GB free of charge. Users then pay $1 per gigabyte per year. The service maxes out at 1,000GB. While you can hold a lot of music on 5GB, film files are of course much larger. One of the film industry sources noted that even a modest film library would quickly max out the free space and a large library could become expensive to maintain on Amazon's cloud.

    Some of the studios see few security risks because to share a movie would require users to give up their password and most consumers don't like doing this. Any movies uploaded will also maintain their original digital rights managment. Then, there's this: Amazon already operates a cloud movie service. Amazon customers can buy movies that Amazon will stream to them and then maintain on the company's servers.

    Film industry sources said Amazon is a good partner.

    For all these reasons, Amazon managers could find a red carpet rolled out for them if and when they decide to add a video player to Cloud Drive.
    ..
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  9.    #9  
    Hi all,

    Here is further info.

    Take care,

    Jay

    Amazon, Labels to Meet for Locker Talks: Sources

    By REUTERS, April 13, 2011, (Reporting by Yinka Adegoke)

    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/...gewanted=print


    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is due to meet with music label executives on Thursday to hash out deals over the online retailer's controversial cloud-based media locker service that has sparked a music business uproar.

    Amazon launched the free digital locker Cloud Drive in March as a way for its customers to store songs and play them on mobile phones and other devices. They can also store photos and documents.

    Music labels are furious that Amazon has not paid for licensing rights to stream music to consumers. They argue that Amazon only has licensing rights to sell digital downloads.

    Several of Amazon's music licensing executives were in New York from Seattle this week to discuss a deal with the labels, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the talks are confidential.

    In a letter to music labels on Monday, Amazon's Music team said that early indications had shown that the Cloud Player part of the service had boosted sales of digital songs in its MP3 store.

    The letter, obtained by Reuters, said Amazon does not need a license for Cloud Drive because it is a general online storage service for all digital files, not unlike Google Docs or Microsoft's SkyDrive. Amazon also compared its Cloud Player to Microsoft's Windows Media Player.

    "We don't publicly discuss our meetings with partners, and we have not announced any changes to Amazon Cloud Drive or Amazon Cloud Player since the launch," said Amazon spokeswoman Cat Griffin.

    While Amazon has publicly contended that Cloud Drive is legal, the company is likely to want to smooth things over with the music industry, with which it has closely worked on CD and MP3 sales.

    The risk for the music industry is that other companies might follow Amazon's lead and launch a similar service if they believe it to be legal.

    Apple Inc and Google Inc are planning to launch music locker services, sources have said.

    Music labels do not want to miss out on new revenue sources, so they are concerned over any new services involving music that do not require licenses.

    Most of the discussions between the music industry and online companies have involved major label owners including Vivendi's Universal Music Group, Sony Corp's Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Music.
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  10. #10  
    Maybe I just have an intrinsic hatred of the RIAA, but I'm pretty sure that, given their way, they would shut down all music distribution services, legal or otherwise, and implement a universal jukebox service wherein you have to pay 99 cents per play.

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure I have an intrinsic hatred of the RIAA.
    Let me show you what cynicism looks like.

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