Wednesday, 01 August 2012 09:41

Amazon Cloud Player Scan and Match matches (nay, exceeds) iTunes Match


Amazon is following Apple's example by adding a 'match' feature to Amazon Cloud Player.

A major update to Amazon's (US only) Cloud Player service is already familiar to iTunes users.

The web commerce giant has announced the addition of Scan and Match to Amazon Cloud Player.

Cloud Player is now able to scan existing iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries and matches those tracks to Amazon's 20 million song catalogue.

Those songs - however they were originally required - are then made available in Cloud Player as 256Kbps files.

250 songs can be matched free of charge; a $US24.99 annual subscription boosts that to 250,000 tracks.

MP3 tracks purchased from Amazon are not counted towards those limits, and are automatically added to the customer's Cloud Player to serve as a backup as well as providing mobile access.

(iTunes Match also costs $US24.99, but only allows 25,000 tracks.)

Playback is currently supported via web browsers or on Android devices (including the Kindle Fire), iPhones and iPod touches.

Amazon will soon add support for Roku and Sonos players, company officials stated.

The addition of Scan and Match follows agreements between Amazon and Sony, EMI, Universal, Warner, and more than 150 independents.

"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.

"We are happy to have such broad industry support in enabling these features for customers."

Amazon also announced the separation of Cloud Drive (for file storage) and Cloud Player (for music storage and playback), with separate subscriptions.

Cloud Drive provides 5GB of free storage, with paid plans starting at $US10 per year for 20GB.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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