Earlier this week, Amazon rolled out an interesting new service: Cloud Drive. It’s like an online hard drive, a place where you can store music, photos, documents, and other files. That not only gives you a Web-based backup for important stuff, but also lets you access your data on the go (like from a mobile phone or friend’s PC). If you already have an Amazon account, you get five free gigabytes (GB) of Cloud Drive storage just for showing up (i.e. signing in). That’s a good start, though if you have a large photo or music library you want to archive, it may not be enough.
How does 20GB sound? You can get that four-fold increase in storage simply by buying an album–any album–from the Amazon MP3 Store. Seriously, no joke.
My recommendation: Brendan Benson’s fantastic “My Old, Familiar Friend“, which is priced at $5.99. But if even that’s too rich for your blood, check out this list of albums starting at just 69 cents. Buy any one of them and, presto, you’ve got your 20GB upgrade.
There must be a catch, right? Not really, though I will point out that your 20GB upgrade is good for only one year. After that, you’ll have to pay for one of Amazon’s storage plans (which start at $20 per year for that same 20GB), otherwise you’ll drop back to your free 5GB.
While we’re on the subject of music, it’s worth noting that any music you buy–or upload to your Cloud Drive account–can be streamed to your PC or Android phone. (If there’s an iPhone version of the Amazon MP3 app in the works–and I hope there is–Amazon is keeping mum about it.)
So, to recap: 5GB of free Amazon Cloud Storage for anybody who wants it, and 20GB for anybody willing to plunk down 69 cents or so.
I’m sold. How about you?
Self-proclaimed cheapskate Rick Broida has been a technology writer for over 20 years. He has authored over a dozen books, including, most recently, “How to Do Everything: Palm Pre.” Currently he writes the Cheapskate blog.