Amazon has beaten Apple and Google in launching a cloud-based music locker.
The etailer has launched a trio of cloudy treats: the Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player for Web and Amazon Cloud Player for Android.
When used together, the services let Amazon customers store music in the cloud and play it on any PC, Mac, Android tablet or Android smartphone.
The company said that customers can upload their music library to the Cloud Drive and save any new MP3 purchases directly to the drive for free.
All customers automatically get 5GB of Cloud Drive storage space to fill and anyone who buys an MP3 album from Amazon will be upgraded to 20GB of space. Furthermore, new MP3s bought from Amazon's online store that are saved directly to Cloud Drive do not count as using up the storage quota.
Amazon reckons it has created a simple system for users to upload their music library (hand-picked songs or the whole lot) to their Cloud Drive where they can be stored in AAC or MP3 formats.
Meanwhile, Cloud Player for Web currently supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari for Mac and Google Chrome so customers can stream music easily. Crucially, Amazon said that their MP3 customers can continue to use iTunes and Windows Media Player to add music to their iPods and MP3 players, avoiding complications.
There is also Cloud Player for Android, which does away for the need of a dedicated MP3 player and is bundled in with the new version of the Amazon MP3 app, which includes access to Amazon's MP3 store and the mobile version of Cloud Player.
Handily the app can play music stored on the Cloud Drive and tunes stored on the phone, although the cloud service should help free up space on many a handset. Features include the ability to search and browse by artist, album and song as well as create playlists.
Finally, the Cloud Drive obviously acts as a backup for digital music collections in case of hard drive problems. Amazon said files are securely stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and that each file is uploaded to the service in its original bit rate.
The company said: "Customers can buy music anywhere and know that their MP3s are safely stored in Cloud Drive and accessible from any device."