August 01, 2012
| by Rachel Cericola
It looks like Amazon wants to compete in the music market. In case the occasional free MP3 credit didn’t hook you, the company just announced a slew of new upgrades to the Amazon Cloud Player.
The most impressive is scan and match technology, which scans a customer’s music collection (even the iTunes stuff), finds a match and puts it into the cloud for listening on the fly. A nice little bonus is that the retailer will upgrade all of your songs to 256 Kbps audio, absolutely free. The upgrade also applies to any previous Amazon MP3 purchases.
The Cloud Player provides streaming to Kindle Fire, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android devices and any web browser. Roku and Sonos access should be coming soon.
“We are constantly striving to deliver the best possible customer experience for Cloud Player, and today we are offering our customers a significant set of new features, including scan and match technology and audio quality upgrade,” said Steve Boom, Vice President of Digital Music at Amazon. “We are happy to have such broad industry support in enabling these features for customers.”
Amazon is also adding new licensing agreements with Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and more than 150 independent distributors, aggregators and music publishers.
Cloud Player is available in two flavors: Free and Premium. The free version allows customers to store all MP3s purchased through Amazon, as well as up to 250 songs imported from a PC or Mac. Cloud Player Premium subscribers can store up to 250,000 songs for an annual fee of $24.99.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.