Amazon Targets iCloud With Upgraded Cloud Drive

Amazon has announced that it will now offer free storage for all music files purchased from the Amazon MP3 store, unlimited space for users' music tracks and a Cloud Player for the iPad as part of improvements brought to its consumer Cloud offering.

The online retailer said that the deal will even be available for those paying $20 per year for 20GB worth of storage albeit for a limited period; apparently, music files won't count against the customer's storage allowance.

All customers automatically get 5GB of Cloud Drive storage for free which they can use to store any digital files like photos, videos and documents.

The third announcement is a Cloud Player for the iPad that will be available from the user's Safari Browser and is accessible by visiting www.amazon.com/cloudplayer to start listening wirelessly to their music.

The upgrade comes as Apple announced plans last month that its iCloud service would allow users to upload their music to its data centers for a fee, and get it streamed across a number of devices for free.

Google and Microsoft are likely to announce similar features in the next few months; Google is already working on Google Music and the service is still in Beta (and only available in the US) while Microsoft is busy rejigging its Zune offering.