Cloud storage services are nothing new. If you want to store 25 GB of documents and photos online for free you can sign up for Windows Live SkyDrive, for example. But Amazon's new cloud-based storage service, Amazon Cloud Drive, points in the direction of where many see consumer cloud-based services going: the ability to access and play your digital media no matter which device or computer you're using.
Amazon announced the new service this morning and rolled out a tiered pricing plan that gives all users 5 GB of storage for free. Additional storage, starting at 20 GB and going to 1000 GB, can be purchased for a rate of $1 per gigabyte.
The company is running a promotion that upgrades any user who purchases an album from the Amazon MP3 Store before December 31, one-year of 20 GB storage.
Also announced was the Amazon Cloud Player which allows users to play the music stored in their Cloud Drive. There's a web-based player that's compatible with all the major browsers, as well as a downloadable app for Android devices (Amazon's really going hard on Android) that will stream music from the cloud to the device. As of now, there are no plans to offer an app for BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, or iOS. And, funny enough, the web-based player can not be used in iOS's Safari browser.
We guess iPhone users are going to have to wait until Apple fires up its N.C. data center, and launches its rumored streaming iTunes service.