March 30, 2011, 12:40 PM — The music industry is not happy with Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, Amazon's new online storage service that lets you stream up to 5GB of your own music files for free. Some in the music industry believe Amazon needs to license rights from the major labels before letting you stream the music you bought and paid for (and just happens to be sitting on Amazon's servers) to your personal devices. So far, only Sony is saying Amazon needs to license music stored on Cloud Drive, although other industry insiders feel the same way, according to Reuters.
[ See also: Amazon's Cloud Player has already won me over ]
Sony, it's worth noting, recently unveiled its own music streaming service. Other companies are expected to offer similar services in the future, including Apple and Google. The big guns are getting into music streaming just in time, too. Market research firm NPD Group in November said American music fans are now streaming just as many tunes as they download.
Despite all the hullaballoo over Amazon's plans, streaming music from the clouds has been available for years through services such as AOL's discontinued XDrive service. So if Amazon's service isn't for you (I'm looking at you iPhone owners), here's a look at five alternatives to Amazon's new Cloud Drive.
This online sync and backup service rolled out a music player in 2008 that lets you play your music in a Web browser or on your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. SugarSync has a free plan that gives you 5GB of free online storage.