It’s no news that Amazon, Google, and Apple are all making huge efforts to keep up with each other in the various convergent markets that they are targeting as major players. But it sure is interesting to observe how each one of these tech giants is taking the necessary steps to catch up or get ahead. Today, I’m here to report on Amazon’s recently announced updates to their Cloud Player music streaming platform, updates that aren’t innovative, as we’ve seen all of them as being integrated in either Google’s Music or Apple’s iTunes.
The first update that Amazon brought to their Cloud Player is a “scan and match” technology that will allow users to scan their media libraries (iTunes, Media Player) so that Amazon can identify which songs are also available in their song catalog. Songs that are identified out of the 20 million track Amazon library are immediately made available on the Cloud Player in 256Kbps format, without the need to upload it. Music that users have already uploaded to Cloud Player will also be upgraded to the 256Kbps format.
It is also worth mentioning that, given Amazon’s ambition to highlight Cloud Drive as a standalone product, the Cloud Player will no longer be a part of the Cloud Drive. In addition, in an attempt to match Google Music’s functionality, the Cloud Drive will be accessible from almost any device you can imagine: Kindle Fires, all Android devices, the iPhone / iPad / iPod touch, as well as any device with a HTML5-compatible browser.
Just in case you’re wondering how Amazon managed to bring up the number of tracks up to 20 million, the reason is they’ve recently signed licensing agreements with major labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Warner Music, as well as more than 150 independent music publishers. It’s a step that Amazon had to make if they wanted to compete with the big boys!
From my perspective, these updates are exactly what Amazon needed to do in order to make their Cloud Player competitive with Google Music and iTunes. Sure enough, users that are fairly new to the idea of cloud music might be convinced to use Amazon’s Cloud Player, but I’m convinced that few (if any) Google Music or iTunes users will jump ship and start using Cloud Player.
What’s your opinion on Amazon’s revamped Cloud Player? Will the new updates give Amazon a fighting chance against Google Music or Apple’s iTunes? Drop us a comment in the section below and share a thought!
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Amazon’s decision to charge 25/year for what once was free, is insane. I applaud the attempt at gaining market shares, but what Amazon already had was great. I uploaded my entire music library of over 9,000 tracks for archiving and playing on any of my devices. I loved it. Then last night, my phone updated the Amazon Player, only to tell me I had only 250 free songs available after August 31! The rest of my tracks will remain hostage until I erase them and then upload my allotment of 250 for free. What is the bif news? The loss of free music service in exchange of 25/year service. Not good for me! Google Music, here I come.
Major complaint for me is after “uploading” my music collection, approx. 16% of the albums show different cover artwork, or different artwork on individual songs which don’t relate to the album, and in some cases, both the cover artwork and song artwork are different. While you can edit the text, track nos. etc, there is no facility to change the cover or individual song artwork