I was an early adopter of Amazon’s Cloud Player because the initial music options for Android were lacking.
So I uploaded all my music to Amazon and, largely because I’d purchasing MP3s from Amazon’s store, it was a neat ecosystem to be in. I’d since moved on to Google Music because of the deep integration with Android.
Then I received the following email from Amazon, outlining sweeping changes to its Cloud Player service, and it has Apple in its sights:
We’ve Made Improvements to Cloud Player
When you sign into the updated Cloud Player, we’ll upgrade your music to high-quality 256 Kbps audio at no additional charge.
We’ve also made it easier to get your music from your computer to Cloud Player. We’ll match your songs to Amazon’s 20 million song catalog. All songs we match – even music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CDs – are instantly made available in Cloud Player.
Plus, MP3 songs and albums you purchase from Amazon – even those you purchased in the past – will be automatically saved to Cloud Player, which means you’ll have a secure backup copy of the music you buy at Amazon, free of charge. Learn more.Your Account Is Changing
Cloud Player and Cloud Drive now have separate subscriptions. Music you previously imported into Cloud Drive will remain in Cloud Drive at its original audio quality, and won’t count toward your Cloud Drive storage limit. Music you import to Cloud Drive in the future will no longer be available in Cloud Player.
Cloud Player Premium is our new subscription plan, which lets you import up to 250,000 songs into Cloud Player. You will retain your existing Cloud Drive storage plan, and will receive Cloud Player Premium at no additional cost for the remainder of your Cloud Drive subscription. You will be able to upgrade and downgrade to certain other paid Cloud Drive storage plans and continue to receive Cloud Player Premium at no additional cost. The price of some Cloud Drive plans has been reduced, so be sure to confirm that your current plan is still the best for your needs.
Clicking through the email gets me to the following landing page:
So there you have it: 250,000 songs for $24.99 and the Amazon MP3 Importer now does an iTunes Match style process to save you time in uploading your music collection.
Because I needed to store a lot of music, I’ve already upgraded to the Premium service. Over 800 songs stored in my Cloud Player are already upgraded to the 256 Kbps quality. Amazon updated its Android app to support the new system, too.
In the near future, I’m looking at even replacing Google Music with it.
What if you’re an Apple iTunes user? The new Cloud Player offers a new cross-platform solution that does true streaming — something Apple iTunes Match does not do now, or yet.
Watch for my upcoming deep dive on the new Amazon Android app, the new Cloud Player and price comparisons between all the different services. For now, check out the details over on Amazon’s MP3 site.