Today Amazon.com announced new solutions to help customers manage their digital music collections. Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player enable customers to securely and reliably store music in the cloud and play it on any Android phone, tablet, Mac or PC, wherever they are.

As a big music fan with well over 100Gb in digital music I am particularly excited that I now have access to all my digital music anywhere I go.

Order in the Chaos

The number of digital objects in our lives is growing rapidly. What used to be only available in physical formats now often has digital equivalents and this digitalization is driving great new innovations. The methods for accessing these objects is also rapidly changing; where in the past you needed a PC or a Laptop to access these objects, now many of our electronic devices have become capable of processing them. Our smart phones and tablets are obvious examples, but many other devices are quickly gaining these capabilities; TV Sets and Hifi systems are internet enabled, and soon our treadmills and automobiles will be equally plugged into the digital world.

Managing all these devices, along with the content we store and access on them, is becoming harder and harder. We see that with our Amazon customers; when they hear a great tune on a radio they may identify it using the Shazam or Soundhound apps on their mobile phone and buy that song instantly from the Amazon MP3 store. But now this mp3 is on their phone and not on the laptop that they use to sync their iPod with and not on the Windows Media Center PC that powers their HiFi TV set. That's frustrating - so much so that customers tell us they wait to buy digital music until they are in front of the computer they store their music library on, which brings back memories of a world constrained by physical resources.

The launch of Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player and Amazon Cloud Player for Android will help to bring order in this chaos and will ensure that customers can buy, access and play their music anywhere. Customers can upload their existing music library into Amazon Cloud Drive and music purchased from the Amazon MP3 store can be added directly upon purchase. Customers then use Amazon Cloud Player Web application to easily manage their music collections with download and stream options. The Amazon Cloud Player for Android is integrated with the Amazon MP3 app and gives customers instant access to all the music they have stored in Amazon Cloud Drive on their mobile device. Any purchases that customers make on their Android devices can be stored in Amazon Cloud Drive and are immediately accessible from anywhere.

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A Drive in the Cloud

To build Amazon Cloud Drive the team made use of a number of cloud computing services offered by Amazon Web Services. The scalability, reliability and durability requirements for Cloud Drive are very high which is why they decided to make use of the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) as the core component of their service. Amazon S3 is used by enterprises of all sizes and is designed to handle scaling extremely well; it stores hundreds of billions of objects and easily performs several hundreds of thousands of storage transaction a second.

Amazon S3 uses advanced techniques to provide very high durability and reliability; for example it is designed to provide 99.999999999% durability of objects over a given year. Such a high durability level means that if you store 10,000 objects with Amazon S3, you can on average expect to incur a loss of a single object once every 10,000,000 years. Amazon S3 redundantly stores your objects on multiple devices across multiple facilities in an Amazon S3 Region. The service is designed to sustain concurrent device failures by quickly detecting and repairing any lost redundancy, for example there may be a concurrent loss of data in two facilities without the customer ever noticing.

Cloud Drive also makes extensive use of AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to help ensure that objects owned by a customer can only be accessed by that customer. IAM is designed to meet the strict security requirements of enterprises and government agencies using cloud services and allows Amazon Cloud Drive to manage access to objects at a very fine grained level.

A key part of the Cloud Drive architecture is a Metadata Service that allows customers to quickly search and organize their digital collections within Cloud Drive. The Cloud Player Web Applications and Cloud Player for Android make extensive use of this Metadata service to ensure a fast and smooth customer experience.

Making it simple for everyone

Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player are important milestones in making sure that customer have access to their digital goods at anytime from anywhere. I am excited about this because it is already making my digital music experience simpler and I am looking forward to the innovation that these services will drive on behalf of our customers.

If you are an engineer interested in working on Amazon Cloud Drive and related technologies the team has a number of openings and would love to talk to you! More details at http://www.amazon.com/careers.

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