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Hands on tour of the Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player

A quick run through of the newly released Amazon Cloud Drive - the online storage service, and the Amazon Cloud Player - the integrated music streaming service.
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By Zack Whittaker on
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1 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

The Amazon Cloud Drive allows you to upload and store documents, music, pictures and videos in the cloud, on the Amazon cloud. Competing with Google, Microsoft and Apple in the cloud space, it offers 5GB of free storage, and the option to buy additional storage for exponential costs.

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Read more: Larry Dignan on "Amazon launches Cloud Drive: An easy to use tablet play that takes AWS consumer", and James Kendrick on "Test drive of Amazon Cloud Drive for MP3s" and "Is Amazon set to go after Apple in the mobile space?"

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2 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

To upload, it requires you to determine where the files are to be stored, and uses the standard browser find function for you to select multiple documents, music, pictures and videos to upload.

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Read more: Larry Dignan on "Amazon launches Cloud Drive: An easy to use tablet play that takes AWS consumer", and James Kendrick on "Test drive of Amazon Cloud Drive for MP3s" and "Is Amazon set to go after Apple in the mobile space?"

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3 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

The intuitive display allows you to upload documents as and when you want to, and gives you a second by second status of how well the progress is going. You can even add more files to the queue while you wait for existing documents, music, pictures and videos to upload, and you can cancel them from the queue before they are uploaded. This screen can be 'minimised' with the Close [X] button at the top right, to allow you to carry on working in the cloud view.

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Read more: Larry Dignan on "Amazon launches Cloud Drive: An easy to use tablet play that takes AWS consumer", and James Kendrick on "Test drive of Amazon Cloud Drive for MP3s" and "Is Amazon set to go after Apple in the mobile space?"

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4 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Note here the number of different filetypes that are being added - from Word documents and other Office documents, to PowerPoint and PDF's - you can upload practically any kind of document. 

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Read more: Larry Dignan on "Amazon launches Cloud Drive: An easy to use tablet play that takes AWS consumer", and James Kendrick on "Test drive of Amazon Cloud Drive for MP3s" and "Is Amazon set to go after Apple in the mobile space?"

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5 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

But when it comes to accessing them, don't think you can access them from the web. No, you have to then go about downloading them manually one by one. The cloud storage facility is exactly that - for storage, unlike Windows Live SkyDrive which allows you to edit and view documents in the cloud view.

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Read more: Larry Dignan on "Amazon launches Cloud Drive: An easy to use tablet play that takes AWS consumer", and James Kendrick on "Test drive of Amazon Cloud Drive for MP3s" and "Is Amazon set to go after Apple in the mobile space?"

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6 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

However, if you are only dealing with PDFs, you can of course still access these from within the browser if you wish. 

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Read more: Larry Dignan on "Amazon launches Cloud Drive: An easy to use tablet play that takes AWS consumer", and James Kendrick on "Test drive of Amazon Cloud Drive for MP3s" and "Is Amazon set to go after Apple in the mobile space?"

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7 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

The only 'integrated' feature is the listening back of MP3s, which can be bought from the Amazon MP3 Store, or uploaded from your local computer. But be warned, as Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols argues that there is "no privacy" from the authorities in the Cloud Drive.

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Read more: Larry Dignan on "Amazon launches Cloud Drive: An easy to use tablet play that takes AWS consumer", and James Kendrick on "Test drive of Amazon Cloud Drive for MP3s" and "Is Amazon set to go after Apple in the mobile space?"

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8 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

To download an MP3, you must install the Amazon MP3 Downloader to make this easier. Alternatively, you can simply hit "No, thanks" and have it done manually - which if you ask me, is far easier. 

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Read more: Larry Dignan on "Amazon launches Cloud Drive: An easy to use tablet play that takes AWS consumer", and James Kendrick on "Test drive of Amazon Cloud Drive for MP3s" and "Is Amazon set to go after Apple in the mobile space?"

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9 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

The Downloader does integrate with Windows Media Player and iTunes though, so it does allow you to reorganise your music files far easier.

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Read more: Larry Dignan on "Amazon launches Cloud Drive: An easy to use tablet play that takes AWS consumer", and James Kendrick on "Test drive of Amazon Cloud Drive for MP3s" and "Is Amazon set to go after Apple in the mobile space?"

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10 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Not satisfied with an integrated program, Amazon issued not one, but two applications - one to handle the uploading of MP3s and the other to control the downloading of MP3s. There is no synchronisation between the cloud and the computer; simply an upload, a store in the cloud and a download again.

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Read more: Larry Dignan on "Amazon launches Cloud Drive: An easy to use tablet play that takes AWS consumer", and James Kendrick on "Test drive of Amazon Cloud Drive for MP3s" and "Is Amazon set to go after Apple in the mobile space?"

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