An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com
Dear Mr. Bezos,
The irony of writing this letter to you on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day is noted, but is not intentional. I learned two days ago of your donation of $2.5 million to support same-sex marriage initiatives in Washington state. I considered the idea of ending my affiliation with Amazon in response, but in truth, I like your service, just like I like Starbucks even though I disagree with many of their policies as well. However, today you committed a fatal error. You assumed you had your Cloud Drive hook set when you yanked the line. You are wrong.
I found this email in my inbox today:
Your Account Is Changing
Cloud Player and Cloud Drive are now separate services. Music you previously imported intoCloud Drive will remain in Cloud Drive at its original audio quality, and won’t count toward your Cloud Drive storage limit. Music you import to Cloud Drive in the future will no longer be available in Cloud Player.
You’ve been enjoying a free promotional subscription to Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player. After it ends, you will be limited to 250 imported songs in Cloud Player.
Customers who are over that limit and close to expiration receive 30 days to test out our new features. Once you log in, you have 30 days to enjoy your music, everywhere. If you’d like to keep using Cloud Player for free, remove songs from your ‘Imported’ playlist until your library is below the 250 song limit before the 30 days are up. At the end of the 30-day free upgrade, if you have more than 250 imported songs in Cloud Player, you will not be able to play your previously imported music in Cloud Player – but you can start fresh and re-import up to 250 songs. Music you imported before July 24th will remain stored in Cloud Drive.
When you upgrade to Cloud Player Premium for $25 per year, you can import up to 250,000 songs. Upgrade before your promotional subscription ends and get 50 GB of Cloud Drive storage at no additional cost. Learn more.
Mr. Bezos, with all due respect, forget you. I don’t mind paying money for my Sirius/XM subscription. But then again, I actually USE my Satellite Radio subscription on a daily basis. In fact, I don’t know what I’d do on my commute to/from work without FirstWave, Siriusly Sinatra, SEC Play-by-Play, and The Catholic Channel. I saved my music on the Amazon Cloud Drive so that I could listen to it at work. (My employer’s firewall blocks Sirius/XM, along with almost every other music access website.) Then when Amazon no longer supported my employer’s dinosaur of a browser that they insist on not upgrading (we can’t download anything, either), I couldn’t even listen to that anymore. My computer at home is mute due to a driver problem that no one can diagnose, much less fix. So why the hell would I pay money for a service I can almost never use?
I activated my 30-day free trial, though, just so I can download everything from my Cloud Drive onto my phone (I just installed a 32-gig memory card). Once that’s done, consider my Cloud Drive account closed. This doesn’t mean I am cutting Amazon off entirely, however. I’ll maintain my Amazon account to support my Kindle, but upgrading to a Kindle Fire is no longer the set decision it once was. In fact, I am going to do some serious research into the Nook Color, for which Barnes and Noble has made several VERY generous discount offers in the past. Still, that is a decision that requires disposable income, a necessity that the Communist-in-Chief has made an impossibility for wage slaves like me. But that is a different argument, and not germane to this discussion save for the fact that your demand that I pony up $25 a year to maintain a cloud drive that I almost never use is something to which I am not going to accede.
Meanwhile, I hope you sleep well with the votes you made with your pocketbook. I know I won’t lose sleep with the votes I have made with mine. In fact, although my body is weak today, my spirit is soaring.