The Details of Amazon's Free Music Storing

Ryan D. Lang
Jul 9, 2011
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Amazon, Companies, Internet

Amazon's Cloud Drive service now lets you store previously purchased music for free and any music for free with a paid subscription. Anyone who signed up via buying an album (a promotion Amazon was running) is included, but it is a limited time offer. The ins and outs of the change, while ultimately beneficial, are a touch complicated.

There are some things to take into consideration. You cannot just upload any music and expect it to be there for free and forever. The formatting of the music, its size, and any changes to the files or the subscription will affect the space used by the music.

amazon cloud drive


The music file has to be a DRM-free MP3 or M4A file for it to be freely stored on paid accounts. (Note: not the lossless m4a type.) Anything else will count against your space, plus they will not work with the Cloud Player. Files with just the extension, but which are really another type of file, naturally will go against the space.


For songs you previously purchased through Amazon, the file you upload has to be identical to the file on their servers. If you change the file, then it will take up space on free accounts (it is still free for a paid account). There likely are two reasons for this. One, there is no question that a file is the one purchased if it is exactly the same. Two, if the file is the same, it only needs to exist on Amazon's server once. Access, from there, is really shared. That is why they can afford to give the space to the purchased music.


Once you downgrade, any music that was not purchased from Amazon counts against your space. That space is only at 5 GB now. The good news is that, while you cannot upload any more files at this point, your files are not automatically deleted. Amazon does not specify the length of time before they delete your files, but they do reserve the right to. In any case, you will have a little time to pick which files you want to eliminate.


Files must be under 100 MB. For most songs, that is fine, even for a long, high-quality song. For podcasts, however, that could be a problem. While rare, it is something good to know. I am probably in the minority, but I do have MP3 files that will not fit. Does this mean you cannot load the file? No. It just means that it will affect your space used.

Reminder: The ToS

Amazon's terms of service are of concern. (They are even worse than Dropbox's ToS.) They reserve the right to look at your files without notification or reason. That does not make it useless, but it does restrict usefulness. Using the service as a backup for files they know you have does make perfect sense.


I would definitely upload music I purchased directly from Amazon. That will always be free to store. To not use it as a backup for such music makes little sense. What should an audiophile do with the extra 5 gigs? Fill it up with free music from established sites like OverClocked Remix. Anything else would make me uncomfortable (even if I owned the physical tape or CD).

On a side note, a thank you to Amazon's tech support. The details on what happens if you downgrade your account, while obvious, where not in the product description or FAQ. I actually contacted their support to clarify what would happen.


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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

    1. E. Fromme said on September 29, 2023 at 1:32 pm

      EMRE ÇITAK posts are useless because they are fraught with inaccuracies and are irrelevant.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

    1. Howard Allan Pearce Jones said on October 1, 2023 at 4:28 am

      Rreedom of Association is one of our most important rights. Some people think it’s Freedom, but no, I say Rreedom is far more important. There are many STATE-MANDATED associations that save jobs, that’s right MANDATED. I can’t name any of them, but rest assured they are bad, because saving jobs are bad, and people having jobs leads to dictatorship!!! Anyone who disagrees is too radical for Ghacks maybe, because I’m not sure.

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

  9. sean conner said on September 27, 2023 at 6:21 am
  10. Sherry Grant said on September 29, 2023 at 7:47 pm

    What does this article about Musk/Tesla have to do with computing, devices, phones?
    More irelevant filler.

  11. Anonymous said on September 29, 2023 at 8:47 pm

    yeah sure… they are always the victims and it is only against them ????

    Believe them 100% and never question anything. This lawsuit sounds like the type you heard when people were eating batteries.

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