Amazon appears to be taking a leaf off of the Apple tree this week, updating their Cloud Player with ‘Scan and Match technology’, allowing users to have their personal music libraries replicated online.
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.
Those of you riding the Apple cart will be aware of iTunes Match, a service that uses a similar set of features. Undoubtedly, the reason that it’s taken nearly a year for Amazon to play catchup is due to licensing. In order to create their own matching service, the retail giant has signed agreements with four major record groups— Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group — as well as more than 150 independent distributors, aggregators.
Interestingly though, Amazon offers two levels of its Cloud Player services – Free and Premium. Free grants you the same features, including the ability to upload up to 250 personal library songs to the cloud, and have them even converted to a higher bit rate (256) if available.
For most users in the UK, this won’t mean much. Amazon are still yet to launch their ‘Kindle Fire’, or iPad killer in the UK, which has been available in the US for some time. The Kindle Fire ties directly into Amazon Cloud Player, allowing users to stream their collections over any stable Wi-Fi or 3G connection. As it stands, your Kindle reading device won’t do that.