Amazon.com has updated its cloud-based music player - which is currently only for US-based customers - by giving it the ability to ‘scan and match’ music from other sources. It means the service will have similar abilities to the streaming music players offered by Apple iTunes and Google Music.
In order to offer the music matching service the company has signed agreements with Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and more than 150 independent distributors, aggregators and music publishers.
Amazon MP3 purchases are automatically saved to the Cloud Player. Other music is identified on the customer’s computer and is then made available via the cloud in 256Kbps audio if it matches a track from Amazon’s 20 million song catalogue.
Steve Boom, Vice President of Digital Music at Amazon, said “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. We are happy to have such broad industry support in enabling these features for customers.”
The free version of Cloud Player stores all MP3 music purchased via Amazon and allows up to 250 songs to be imported. Cloud Player Premium customers can import and store up to 250,000 songs for an annual fee of $24.99.
As well as upgrading its Cloud Player, Amazon has split its Cloud Drive storage option into a separate service. Both were launched together in March 2011.