Amazon has surprised the marketplace by launching a cloud based music service ahead of companies like Apple and Google. The service, called Cloud Drive, utilizes the Amazon web store as well the MP3 app for the Android platform to store material from the personal collections of users as well as purchases on Amazon.

Cloud Drive comes standard with 5GB of free storage. Users can get a total of 20GB of storage (per year) with purchase of just one album from its MP3 store. Amazon sweetens the deal by making songs purchased from the Amazon MP3 store not count against the storage limits. Additional storage can be bought as cheaply as $20 for 20 GB per year. Users can also store video and photos within the same service.

Some early feedback on the service is frustration from record labels as well as consumers. Consumers must upload each song individually. This can lead to hours monitoring your computer depending on the size of your collection. Record labels are expressing concerns over the lack of licensing, a matter Amazon feels is not needed.

Essentially what Cloud Drive does is allow you to store your music with Amazon rather than keeping a hard copy on your own computer so, ussers can access their music from anywhere, including smart phones. Just like with an iPod, you can create playlists, and even select individual songs to play. Cloud Drive integrates their music store into the system making it easy for customers to buy new tracks.

What does Cloud Drive mean to Sirius XM? Initially, very little but, as consumers adopt the service and combine it with smart phones connected to the dashboard, people will have access to a wealth of personalized playlists that they may begin to listen to instead of Sirius XM.. Ironically Sirius XM refers users of their own app to Amazon as well as iTunes. Cloud Drive does not offer live content, nor does it provide the depth of news, talk, and sports that Sirius XM does.

Position - Long Sirius XM Radio