Once upon a time the future of streaming music looked like this: you bought… or acquired… MP3 files. Maybe you purchased them through an online service, maybe you ripped them from a compact disc you owned, maybe you downloaded them off Napster (shame on you.) They lived locally on your computer and you could play them with software like WinAmp and iTunes. If you wanted to access them elsewhere, you could upload them to a cloud service, then stream them from any device with an internet connection.
These days most consumers use services like Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music. You don’t store any files on a local device, you just stream from a massive library of tracks. If you want to take some songs offline, you can download them to your device, but you don’t actually own them.
So it makes sense that Amazon plans to kill off support for Amazon Music Storage, a service that let you upload MP3s to the cloud so that you could download or stream them later. As first noticed by Slashgear and then reported out in TechCrunch, you can no longer upload tracks as of this week. If you have a subscription plan and music in the cloud locker, you won’t be able to stream or download your MP3s after January 2019.
There is one caveat. A spokesperson told TechCrunch that “This change will only impact music imported by customers from other sources, and does not impact music purchased from Amazon (MP3s or AutoRip) — those will remain in the Cloud and will be available on mobile and desktop devices.” AutoRip was a service that added MP3s to your collection for any albums you had purchased on Amazon.