Amazon just launched its online music locker last night and the topic is already dominating the discussion in the tech world this morning. Did Amazon get a jump on Apple and Google here in launching a service that these two tech giants don’t/can’t yet offer? Or is it really just a copycat product that quite a few other startups are already offering. What about the legalities of the service? Here are some of the most interesting reactions to the launch:

Hands on Reviews

Mashable’s Ben Parr: “Amazon has thrown down the gauntlet and set a high bar for cloud-based music streaming. Apple and Google, which are expected to launch their own cloud players sometime this year, will have to match Amazon on usability and price if they’re going to compete.”

GigaOm’s Kevin C. Tofel is generally positive about the service, likes the design and expects to continue to use the new MP3 streaming service, simply because of the convenience factor” (it’s worth noting that he was already a heavy Amazon MP3 customer).

Reactions

MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka is skeptical that this represents a big shift for music fans: Amazon’s Cloud Drive/Cloud Player combo sounds cool, because it has the word ‘Cloud’ in it. It’s quite useful, too. But if you’re a music lover looking for a paradigm shift in the way you consume tunes, this won’t be it.”

ReadWriteWeb’s Sarah Perez, too, is not blown away by the service and argues that it’s not as innovative as some make it out to be: “To be impressed with Amazon’s offering, you have to ignore the numerous startups already serving this space.”

TechCrunch’s MG Siegler wonders if this move will force Apple’s and Google’s hands and make them launch their music locker services sooner: “Amazon has won the race of the big three to deliver a fully cloud-supported music option. Current whispers have Google launching something very similar at their I/O conference in May. And Apple is working on a similar concept as well — but it may not launch until this fall. At least that was the original plan, Amazon’s move may alter things, obviously.

Legal Issues?

The music industry is obviously not too happy about this move. In the Guardian, Amazon’s director of music Craig Pape argues that Amazon doesn’t “need a licence to store music. The functionality is the same as an external hard drive.”

A Sony spokesman, on the other hand, tells the Financial Times that his company is “disappointed that the locker service that Amazon is proposing is unlicensed by Sony Music.