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Summary:

Amazon just updated its cloud player with a scan and match feature that makes it possible to instantly beam songs to the cloud without uploading every single song. The feature mirrors Apple’s offering, but comes with new restrictions for existing Amazon cloud music users.

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Amazon has signed agreements with Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group as well as various publishers and indie label distributors, the company said Tuesday. These new agreements allow the company’s cloud player to scan a user’s hard drive, identify songs and then make them immediately available online and on mobile devices.

Songs will be upgraded to 256 kbps MP3s, even of the source is of lower quality. Users will be able to transfer up to 250 songs for free, while a premium version with access to a whopping 250,000 songs will cost $25 per year.

These new features as well as the pricing essentially mimic Apple’s iTunes in the Cloud offering, but represent a shift in strategy for Amazon: The company initially launched its cloud music locker without licenses from the labels, which made it necessary for consumers to upload each and every track.

However, this change also comes with new restrictions for users of the existing service: Amazon previously gave users 5 GB of free storage for their uploaded songs, which could be extended to 20 GB of space if they bought music through Amazon’s MP3 store. Now, the cloud player prompts users to delete anything over the 250 song limit if they don’t want to pay for the new premium version.

Amazon also announced Tuesday that its cloud music player will come to Roku streaming devices and Sonos players soon. The service is already available through the web, as well as native apps for Android and iOS devices.

  1. Disgruntled AmazonCustomer Friday, August 3, 2012

    This article doesn’t tell the real story. The truth is, Amazon is taking shots at Google because Google came directly at them with the Nexus 7 tablet which is a media consumption device that’s more powerful, faster, smoother, less restrictive, thinner, lighter, with better screen resolution than the Kindle Fire for the same price.

    I own both devices. I also DID NOT have to load all of my songs to the Cloud Drive individually. Before this change with Amazon’s Cloud service, I was able to Drag and drop ENTIRE FOLDERS of songs into the Amazon Cloud icon on my desktop tray, only limited to my Cloud Player’s storage space (5GB’s of which were free).

    Amazon has shafted its customers in this war with Google by NO LONGER allowing us access to ALL of our music from the Amazon Mp3 app without us having to pay an additional $24.99. They did this knowing customers would switch to the Nexus 7, the Mp3 app was already available and to ensure purchase of Mp3’s directly from them. I say additional because I’m also an Amazon Prime member (Pay $79/year for this) and I also can’t access any of my Prime loaner books (the kindle app won’t let you) or Prime Videos (no app for this) from my Nexus 7. HOWEVER, with this new Cloud Player announcement, Amazon also announced that they have created an app that allows iPAD users to access Amazon Instant Videos from their iPADs. One would think they’d offer this for Android first given that the Fire runs on Android 2.3. I think this is a BAD move for Amazon. Instead of retaliating at the expense of its customers, it should encourage competition by continuing to create great products at competitive pricing.

    I am going to CANCEL my Prime membership and switch completely to and grow with GOOGLE if they don’t start thinking of their customers!

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