It’s safe to say BetaNews journalist Joe Wilcox isn’t very happy with Amazon this week.

Having signed up for the company’s Cloud Player service a year ago, he was expecting to retain 5GB of storage for his digital music, under the free tier of the service. Yet an email from Amazon informs him that while he does have 5GB of overall storage, he’s only allowed to store 250 imported songs in it to play for free.

“If your Cloud Player library contained more than 250 imported songs when your subscription expired, you will be unable to access your previously-imported music, but you will still be able to access all of your Amazon MP3 purchases,” explains an email from Amazon.

The reduction is part of the changes made by Amazon when it separated its Cloud Player and Cloud Drive services, and added scan-and-match features to the former.

Essentially, people who thought they’d be able to store their music collections on Amazon’s servers AND stream them for free are now realising they can’t.

Not a problem in itself, but the way it has been communicated to users – and the gap between the original promise and current reality – may be more of an issue. We sense this won’t be the last wake-up call for consumers expecting cloud services to come for free, though.

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