Amazon Cloud Player takes on iTunes Match, Google Music with updates

Amazon Cloud Player takes on iTunes Match, Google Music with updates

Summary: Amazon is upgrading its Cloud Player that will make its music streaming service much more appealing.

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TOPICS: Amazon, Cloud
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Amazon revealed on Tuesday that it is bringing some serious upgrades to its Cloud Player music streaming platform, which will make the service all the more competitive to the likes of Apple's iTunes Match and Google Music.

The first new piece of technology that will put Amazon Cloud Player in prime position to do just that is the addition of scan and match technology. The service scans customers’ iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries and then matches the songs on their computers to Amazon’s song catalog, which includes 20 million tracks and counting.

All of the matched songs –- including music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CDs (or possibly obtained elsehwere) -- will then be accessible immediately via Cloud Player and upgraded for free to high-quality 256Kbps audio. Music that customers have already uploaded to Cloud Player also will be upgraded.

The Amazon Cloud Player service will also now be more appealing to consumers shopping around for a digital music service for a few other reasons -- namely wider accessibility.

For example, any customer with a Kindle Fire, Android device, iPhone, iPod touch, or even just using a web browser will be able to access the Cloud Player (and thus, their music) from anywhere. Amazon is planning to add support for Roku and Sonos home entertainment systems soon too.

Additionally, Amazon MP3 purchases -- including music that customers purchased in the past -- will be automatically saved to Cloud Player so that customers have a secure and free backup copy of the music they buy from Amazon.

These updates are also coming about as Amazon announced several new licensing agreements for Cloud Player, including deals with Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and more than 150 independent distributors, aggregators and music publishers.

All of this lines up with Amazon's ongoing strategy to rebrand the Cloud Player service as an entity and service of its own that can compete with the now-flooded digital music streaming service market.

Starting today, Amazon Cloud Drive will be used for file storage while Cloud Player will be solely for music storage and playback.

Each service will offer separate subscriptions, but customers can still use Cloud Drive to store any files in the cloud and access them from any web browser or by using the Cloud Drive Desktop Apps. Customers can store up to 5GB free and storage plan prices have been lowered to start at $10 per year for 20GB.

Topics: Amazon, Cloud

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9 comments
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  • Sweet. Competion is good. I hope MS comes out with something like this too

    However we still need to be able to download these to 5 devices or so for offline playback as well for when we have no network access or only data capped network access. Does amazon cloud player offer that?
    Johnny Vegas
  • Not Ready for Prime Time

    I have music in both Amazon's and Google's cloud, and decided to give Amazon's player a chance today on an Android device, a Nexus 7. After signing in, the Amazon player first said I had no music in the cloud (while displaying all of my Amazon MP3 purchases). Then it got stuck in a "Continue" loop, and asked me to sign in yet again, and name my device (which was already known to Amazon's Kindle Reader app). Then, it finally displayed, and let me play my music.

    In contrast, Google Play Music worked flawlessly out of the first try. While I prefer Amazon's Kindle reader to Google Play Books, the Amazon music player (version 2.6.0, July 31, 2012) is far less satisfactory. This impression is supported by reviews on the Google Play store, where the Amazon player has received 26,611 one-star reviews -- more than I have seen for any other app.
    S_Deemer
  • No more free to play

    This is realy not an upgrade for me. i now have to pay $25/year for something that was free until now. I had about 2,000 songs in the amazon library and the free 5 Gb was perfect. Now they allow only 250 free songs.

    In the past I had tried both the Google Music player and Amazon Cloud player and settled for the Amazon player. It seemed more responsive then the google player when it was first launched. I guess i'll switch back over to the google player.

    To bad for Amazon. Since I was using their player I also purchased a lot more music from their store. If I start using the google player I see no reason to switch back over t the amazon store for purchases.
    MrSparky
  • What is the news?

    Suppose, I have an iOS device:

    - iTunes Match already does all of this; For the same $25/year.
    - iTunes Match works worldwide -- most of Amazon's services don't. I live outside the US and therefore they are useless to me.
    - On my iOS devices, I tap "Music" and it's all there. It seems I will have to use separate application with Amazon. If so, I could just have my very own cloud (trivial these days, that could be just your computer that stores your media anyway) and another application.

    What is it Amazon provides, that may make it any appealing for anyone owning iOS (and that's an awful lot of people, many of them owning the device because of music, anyway), or perhaps an Android device?
    danbi
    • Bad News

      "What is it Amazon provides..."
      For me the apeal of Amazon over iTunes was the DRM free music I can leagealy purchase and then move to any device I want. I own an iPad, MacBook but also a droid phone and use Win 7 at work and for PC games. I could use the Amazon clouud player on all devices and also move and copy the songs to my harts content. And it was FREE...

      Now that they want 25/year the equation has changed. I'll give google play a try.

      Don't think I am a freeloader looking for handouts ... I have purchased over 300 tracks from Amazon since I started using their service and I am subscribing to their Prime service. It is however getting too expensive.
      MrSparky
  • Quality Upgrade?

    How is Amazon going to upgrade music to 256 kbps? Are they trying to tell people that their music collection ripped at 128 kbps is going to magically be converted to 256? It doesn't work that way. You can make it LOOK like an upgrade, but a 128 kbps file can never be better than 128.

    Google Music let's you upload 20,000 songs for free. Amazon gives you 250. Guess which one I'm using. Amazon needs to fix this. This is a step backward for sure.
    Joshua Wald
    • RE: Quality Upgrade?

      I may be off base here but... I don't think they are claiming to convert your files. They are using the millions of songs they already have in the cloud, matching them to your library at their bit rate of 256kbs and giving you access. Smart when you think about it. They don't need to store and sync as much data/music. I'm thinking of making the leap to this service because the Google service has a limit that my collection exceeds. I see many here seem a little frustrated but my situation lends itself better to the Amazon service.
      compucav@...
    • RE: Quality Upgrade?

      I may be off base here but... I don't think they are claiming to convert your files. They are using the millions of songs they already have in the cloud, matching them to your library at their bit rate of 256kbs and giving you access. Smart when you think about it. They don't need to store and sync as much data/music. I'm thinking of making the leap to this service because the Google service has a limit that my collection exceeds. I see many here seem a little frustrated but my situation lends itself better to the Amazon service.
      compucav@...
  • http://www.burnthebenjamin.com/

    http://www.burnthebenjamin.com/
    MrFlowers