Today on Twitter Amazon announced a significant update to its Cloud Player system, stating:
We made some improvements to Amazon Cloud Player today. Have questions? Get them answered here: http://amzn.to/P53LPf
Well … since it is Twitter there is little info provided. Here are the basics:
Amazon Cloud Player is a service that enables customers to securely store music in the cloud and play it wherever they are on a Kindle Fire, Android phone, Android tablet, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac, or PC. Amazon Cloud Player now has more benefits, including:
•Faster music import for Cloud Player using scan and match technology
•Upgrade of matched files to high-quality 256 Kbps audio
•Delivery of future Amazon MP3 purchases directly to Cloud Player
•Delivery of eligible past Amazon MP3 purchases to Cloud Player without having to import them
•Ability to edit song and album information (such as title and track number), and the ability to import that information for matched files directly from Amazon’s catalog
•Support for more music file types
Basically Amazon has finally obtained the streaming rights to most music in theur store. What this means is that any purchases you have EVER made from the Amazon MP3 store will show up on your Cloud Player (provided they have the rights), AND you can upload music.
Well, ‘upload’ isn’t the correct term, as what they are doing is matching your library to their Cloud library and whatever matches is added to your Cloud Player account. If something is missing you can still upload the songs.
Of course there is a catch – whereas previously the Cloud Player and Cloud Drive were linked up and you had 5GB of free storage available for uploading music, now as a free user you get to upload/match 256 SONGS. If you want access to music you bought outside of Amazon MP3 store beyond 256 songs you need to upgrade to the $25 per year ‘Premium’ account for 250,000 song capacity (yes, two hundred and fifty THOUSAND).
If this sounds pretty much like iTunes Match … that is because it IS pretty much the same thing. Except that whereas iTunes Match sets you up with 25,000 songs for $25 and is for iOS devices and your iTunes usage, Amazon offers 10 times the storage for the same price and is usable on the web, Android and iOS platforms.
Amazon even upgrades your MP3 files to 256kbps for some great sound quality. Oh, and since Amazon MP3 songs and albums almost always cost less than iTunes, it is even more of a reason to check it out!