May 10, 2011, 2:18 PM — Amazon's Cloud Player – the web-based client for Amazon's Cloud Drive online storage and music-sales service -- is designed to run as an independent app on Android and other smartphones, though the web version is designed to run in any standard web browser.
It's not supposed to work in Safari on iOS – at least, neither Safari nor iOS seems to think it does.
Hitting Cloud Player in Safari on iOS will generate an error page saying it's not supported. "Just ignore that," according to TechCrunch. "Click into the music in your drive and it will begin playing. It works flawlessly."
Cloud Player's advantage over iTunes is that it can load audio directly to an MP3 player or phone, rather than having to go through a separate piece of software on a Mac or PC, as iTunes does.
iTunes' advantage is that it owns more than two thirds of the paid online music market, and sells music legally, without having to go back to music publishers and sign copyright agreements after the fact, as Amazon is having to do.
Google also announced it has launched a new music service, according to the WSJ's All Things D. It may be less than completely finished, though, according to the San Jose Merc: it's name is Music Beta by Google.
Apple's version, still not available, is rumored to be called iCloud and to have been designed as an online storage locker for music, movies and media.
All three, under the covers and MTV/iTuney user interfaces, are cloud storage services with a variety of service levels and capacities. Amazon's is $20 per year for 20GB of storage and a dollar per GB after that, in pre-set capacity levels.
Though the pitch to consumers is that the services are a way to improve access to music, they will also, inevitably, serve as a keeping place for other kinds of data as well – giving people too non-technical to sign up for DropBox or Box.Net an easier-to-use cache for work or personal data.