How-To Geek

How to Get 20GB of Amazon Cloud Storage for 89 Cents

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If you’re looking for cheap and reliable online storage—who isn’t?—you can score a year 20GB of online storage from Amazon for under a buck. How? Read on as we highlight the perks of Amazon’s Cloud Drive and how to get nearly-free storage.

Sound too good to be true? 20 GB for a whole year for 89 cents? Amazon is in super promotion mode right now and willing to eat their costs to get your attention. Let’s take a peek at the new services they’ve rolled out and how you can benefit from their zealous promotional tactics.

What is Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player?


Amazon Cloud Drive is Amazon’s offering in the world of cloud-based storage. One of their best known competitors in this arena is the popular Dropbox. A free Amazon Cloud Drive account, no promotional tricks necessary, will net you 5GB of free storage. That’s on the generous end of the standard accounts offered by nearly all cloud-storage providers.

Where things get interesting is with the introduction of Amazon’s Cloud Player. The Cloud Player works from the web, from your desktop, and from Android devices. Any music you store in your Cloud Drive is automatically a part of your Cloud Player and you can use it to build playlists, listen to as singles, and enjoy it like you enjoy your music anywhere else. If you purchase music from Amazon it is automatically stored in your Cloud Drive account and, this is a great deal, it doesn’t count against your storage limit (MP3s you import from your computer into your Cloud Drive do, however).

Amazon is aggressively promoting their Cloud Drive and Cloud Player service in a bid to establish themselves as a major player in the Android ecosystem. A significant number of Android devices already come with the Amazon MP3 application, all it takes to turn that Android device into a member of the Amazon system is a simple login. Between their recent investment in an Android app store and now this music-centered push with the Cloud Player, it looks like Amazon is investing themselves in Android for good.

Now that we’re up to speed on what’s going on with the Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, let’s take a look at how you can score a year’s worth of 20GB storage for under a buck.

Taking Advantage for Amazon’s Almost-Free-Storage Promotion


Right now Amazon is offering a killer promotion to up the adoption rate of their Cloud Player. If you buy a single MP3 album from Amazon between now and the end of the year you automatically get upgraded to the 20GB storage plan. The going rate for the 20GB plan is reasonable as is ($20 per year or a mere $1.67 a month), but getting a year for next to nothing is an even better deal. At first glance we assumed that you would have to buy an album above a certain price point (say, at least $10-15). It turns out you can buy any album and you’ll receive the automatic upgrade. Any album, you say? Yes, any album from the entire Amazon music store collection.

We scanned the music store looking for something cheap and interesting (as tempting as it would be to buy The Greatest Hits of the Midwest Polka Kings just to get some free storage we were trying to at least pick an album we’d listen to). We opted to purchase Rain for Sleeping and Relaxation, a soothing sleep/relaxation album by Joe Baker. It’s a one track album that’s over an hour long, nothing but soothing rain storms to help you focus while you work or fall asleep. The album price? A mere $0.89—you can see the listing for the album and the purchase price in the screenshot above. We purchased it and Amazon immediately told us all about our automatic upgrade to the enhanced Cloud Drive account. No sweating or searching for the right link necessary! You’ll see a prompt button that encourages you to launch the Cloud Player that looks like so:


Click on the “Launch Amazon Cloud Player” button to navigate to your Cloud Player and accompanying Cloud Drive. What does the Cloud Player look like? Like this, a simple and easy to navigate web-based music player.


That’s nice and all, but what about the real reason you’re likely even buying the album? Let’s take a look at the Cloud Drive. It too has a simple interface that lends itself to easy organization and file uploading:


That’s it! Click the “Upload Files” button to start uploading files from your computer. You’re now the proud owner of a new 20GB Cloud Drive with nearly-free storage for the next 365 days.

Have a tip, trick, or favorite application for taking advantage of Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Cloud Player service? Let’s hear about it in the comments.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/30/11

Comments (55)

  1. R. Adam Quigley

    Just get their free MP3 of the day and they do the same thing.

  2. Percival

    Darn, only in the US!?!?!?
    I tried from Spain, and it didn’t go through…

  3. Eric

    No love for Canadians :(

  4. jon_hill987

    No UK either. I’m getting fed up with Amazon offering all their digital services to the US only, I can’t use their Android marketplace, I can’t use their on-line movie rentals and now this. Is my smelly foreign money not good enough for them?

    There are no oceans on the internet.

  5. dm83737

    Possibly a dumb question, but does it lock on to that cheap rate, or next year, is it back to $20?

  6. mark

    I wonder how many people remember that all this was fully available from until Apple bought and buried them. And Lala only charged 10 cents per track if you just streamed it. Unlimited tracks, unlimited listening, no subscription fee.

  7. Dave

    Works. Thanks.

  8. Dave

    jon_hill987 have you tried a proxy or is it because your account is foreign?

  9. Rogue

    Can this cloud storage be used like Dropbox?

  10. Zman723
  11. Jon

    How crap it worked Perfect ! Thanks !

  12. Craig

    Just an fyi, there are a bunch of $.89 albums. Including Antoine Dodson’s “Bed Intruder” song. There are several different copies of it. You want the one that shows it is a full album. It is by Antoine Dodson and the Gregory Brothers.

  13. MARIO

    This is what amazon has to say about the upgrade offer:

    – Purchase an MP3 album from the Amazon MP3 Store by 11:59 PM PST on December 31, 2011.
    – If you qualify for this offer and either have not signed up for Amazon Cloud Drive or have the 5GB Amazon Cloud Drive plan, you will be automatically eligible for the 20 GB plan for one year from the date of your MP3 album purchase. Unless you set your account to auto-renew to a paid plan, the 20 GB plan will revert to a free plan one year from the date of your MP3 album purchase.
    – If your Amazon Cloud Drive account is already at 20 GB or higher when you qualify for this offer, the offer will be saved to your account as a $20 credit toward any future Amazon Cloud Drive plan fees you may incur at the time your plan renews or at the time you upgrade your plan. If you elect to downgrade your plan to a free plan at the time of renewal, your upgrade offer will be applied towards the 20 GB plan at that time.
    – Note: Once we process your order, which could take up to 3 hours, your promotion will be applied and you will receive email notification that your Cloud Drive storage plan has been updated..

  14. Steve K

    Don’t forget to set a new, strong password.

    There’s a great article on the F-secure blog about this, but the short version is that you can set any of the worst passwords (e.g., 123456, qwerty, password) and have unlimited tries to get it right.

    This has been true for some time at Amazon, but other protections such as entering the entire credit card number again for shipments to an alternate address mitigated the risk.

    Now, someone who guesses or brute forces your password can buy music or video on your account, put it in your cloud and then rip it for themselves.

  15. Allen

    HtG – Thank you! I jumped right out into the rain and it bumped me right up to 20GB!

    Thanks again!

  16. Dan

    Can anyone get this to stream on your phone over 3g? It doesnt really work on my EVO

  17. Mike

    Just tried it with the free mp3 as R. Adam Quigley suggested and it worked

  18. Mike

    noticed it is only 5 GB for a free song

  19. Jim

    I grabbed Joe Baker’s “Thundering Rainstorm” for $0.89 but didn’t get my 20GB bump. Do all albums qualify for the upgrade?

  20. Barbara

    Thanks for the tip … I started to buy the RAIN album (believe it or not, I have several like it for meditations), then saw another one I liked and ended up buying about $12 in downloads (got the 20GB storage though!). I should never go to a shopping site in the am when my resistance is low!

  21. alex

    what happens after a year? I’m not exactly sure

  22. Jim

    Found my own answer:

    Note: Once we process your order, which could take up to 3 hours, your promotion will be applied and you will receive email notification that your Cloud Drive storage plan has been updated..

  23. John

    Once you have music on your amazon cloud can it be downloaded to any computer..

  24. Harry

    Nuts, US only, no good in teh UK

  25. Richard Basham

    THANKS ! For the TIP on the 20GB Amazon Cloud Player offer. I just completed and just started the upload of my 4,000 + songs. This really was easy.

  26. vistual

    is there a size per file limit ?
    also – is this limited to only MP3 files, or can you upload and store whatever you want?
    are there sharing options?

  27. Eddie Colon

    Hey Guys , I just wanted to say Thanks for this great tip. I read it just a 10 minutes ago, I rushed over to Amazon and did it. I started my free 5gig acct. Then I bought an album, and POW ! I got upgraded to 20gig.
    Thanks again, very much.

  28. Adil

    I dont know if the free song of the day works any more. I “purchased” the free song and it was copied to the cloud drive, but it still hasnt been upgraded.

  29. sonal khodiyar

    Seems they have patched it. Purchasing FREE MP3 of the day now dosent get the extra 15GB

  30. sonal khodiyar

    the plan says it can take up to 3 hours to show up.. so lets see if it shows up after 3 hours..

  31. Ja5087

    Well, Dropbox Uses Amazon S3 so I guess they have the infrastructure.

  32. Adil

    Nope.. still no upgrade.

  33. Adil

    I finally gave it and got the 89 cent album… still no upgrade.. will keep checking..

  34. cam2644

    Useful info but US customers have advantages not open to others.

  35. Bob Downs

    I just bought and downloaded both the album mentioned in this article and another, but am still at only 5GB in my “cloud”.

    Many thanks to Sonal Khodiyar for your comment about it taking up to three hours to show up. I didn’t see that anywhere on Amazon.

    I’ll patiently wait for three hours.

  36. Angel

    I just tried to get the “free upgrade” from Amazon and was told that I needed to buy a whole album for the upgrade to be honored. The customer service person was adamant about his information, then told me he had to refer my account to some engineering group.

    I also mentioned that I received the information through your site and their web page shows the upgrade on your account. Let see what happens in the next 24 hours.

  37. PTR

    I just did this and it worked great. Bought your recommended album and now uploading a bunch. Only 22+ hours for the remaining 3,100 some-odd MP3s. Hmmm, wondering about upgrading to higher storage to save all 500+ State Of Trance w/ Armin Van Buurens. Need 37GB just for them!

  38. J2TheB

    I just purchased and got the upgrade.

    After a year you will have to pay for the 20gb, but if I’m over 5gb at that time and I like the service, I’ll stick with it and pay.

    1 year is a long time to take a test drive. I’ll know by then if it is worth the money.

  39. hy mayerson


    5.2.Our Right to Access Your Files. You give us the right to access, retain, use and disclose your account information and Your Files: to provide you with technical support and address technical issues; to investigate compliance with the terms of this Agreement, enforce the terms of this Agreement and protect the Service and its users from fraud or security threats; or as we determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law.

  40. Roddor

    Regarding your Amazon 20gb Cloud storage for purchase of Albums. Is this available to your United Kingdom customers?

  41. Renaissance Ronin


    I bought the Rain album (because it’s actually serendipity – I was looking for a good “sleep” aid) and I was immediately upgraded to 20gb. No muss, no fuss, no waiting period at all.

    And I think that “Clause 5.2” is pretty standard boilerplate. I really doubt that Amazon is going to spend the time and money necessary to try to police all these “cloudbursts.” ;)

    Just use your head about what you store. Huh?

    Let’s be careful out there…

  42. FredrickVegas

    Bought Rain for .89 and got instant 20GB storage, no waiting.
    Thank you!

    BTW The Rain album is worth buying as it is very relaxing and well done

  43. bobo

    After reading the user agreement for Amazon’s cloud service I changed my mind.

  44. musicguy

    hmmmmm is this even real? it just doesn’t work. I’ve purchased multiple albums for $1 or less and nothing. I’ve waited well over 3 hours multiple times.

    I’m not sure how else to make it work. Any special tips?

  45. Michael

    Just tried with Rain and still only have 5 GB of storage.

  46. Chelle

    currently participating in the Google ChromeOS Pilot progam and they don’t have anything like Amazon Cloud Player/Cloud Drive. All the plugins I’ve found are not that good. Amazon I”M SOLD!

  47. antonio

    Skydrive 25GB Storage Free on Hotmail.

  48. kim

    Take heart if you didn’t get the extra storage right away. I bought a $2-and-change Sleater-Kinney EP (which everyone should own anyway;)) and it took at least 3 hours for them to upgrade me.

  49. Will

    This makes no sense….

    Your Amazon MP3 Purchases

    2 songs (141.4 MB)

  50. kconafly

    Its been 72 hours and I haven’t got the upgrade. I’ve written to them and have received no response.

  51. Ryan

    I bought the Glee Album Trouty Mouth via the Amazon MP3 app on the phone, 2 mins later checked the MP3 Uploader on the PC and I’ve now got 20gbs.

  52. lostinacloud

    I also am not seeing the bump, sent a note to CS we’ll see what they say.

  53. lostinacloud

    >> I also am not seeing the bump, sent a note to CS we’ll see what they say.

    So I finally broke down and called them ( they have an MP3 Cust. Service dept, btw). Anyway, you have to be sure to click “Buy Album…” and not “Buy Track…” or Buy MP3..”, etc. Even though I bought the mp3 above I probably hit the wrong button. I am going to buy another ensure I click the right buttons and see what happens…

  54. lostinacloud

    And, that did it. Immediate bump to 20GB.

  55. barefootNH

    That promotion ended a long time ago. From their web site:

    ”Buy an MP3 Album and Upgrade to 20 GB of Cloud Drive Storage for Free has ended.”

    I’ll stick with SkyDrive and SpiderOak!

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