Kindle Fire 2 Release Date: Closer as Amazon Upgrades Cloud Player to Compete with Apple's iTunes Match
Amazon is heating up the competition with recent updates to its Cloud Player digital music app, which is already available on Apple devices, Windows based and Android based devices, according to reports.
Amazon revealed on Tuesday that it is bringing some serious upgrades to its Cloud Player music streaming platform, which will make the service all the more competitive to the likes of Apple's iTunes Match and Google Music, according to ZDNet.
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Amazon announced a scan-and-match digital music service, which scans customers' iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries and then matches the songs on their computers to Amazon's song catalog, which includes 20 million tracks and counting.
All of the matched songs -- including music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CDs (or possibly obtained elsehwere) -- will then be accessible immediately via Cloud Player and upgraded for free to high-quality 256Kbps audio. Music that customers have already uploaded to Cloud Player also will be upgraded.
Reuters reported that the service will also scan and match for free up to 250 music files ripped from physical CDs and those purchased from Apple's iTunes store and other sources, Amazon said.
After 250 songs, Amazon will charge $24.99 a year to match and store up to 250,000 music files purchased or ripped from other sources.
Once in the cloud, customers can listen to the songs through the Kindle Fire and through Amazon apps on devices including the iPhone, iPod Touch, Android tablets and smartphones and on PCs through Web browsers.
These updates are also coming about as Amazon announced several new licensing agreements for Cloud Player, including deals with Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and more than 150 independent distributors, aggregators and music publishers.
Amazon's new service can compete with the now-flooded digital music streaming service market, according to ZDNet.
What is the reasoning behind making this available to as many gadgets as possible?
If customers prefer to use Amazon music and video on Kindle, they're likely to purchase the content from Amazon than from its competitors. This gives wider accessibility and will make it more appealing to customers.
The idea came into focus on Wednesday when the company released an iPad app, which lets customers stream and download videos of Amazon on an Apple device, according GamenGuide.
"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 at Amazon. "We are happy to have such broad industry support in enabling these features for customers," reported Slash Gear.
This goes in line with the rumor of the Kindle Fire 2 release date, which is supposedly set before the holiday season this year.
Various tech sources reported that Demos Pernernos, president of U.S. retail for Staples Inc., which sells the Kindle Fire tablet, said that Amazon will be introducing five or six new tablet SKU's (or stock-keeping units) this year. The report confirmed that the tablets will vary in size, and one will be at least 10-inches, and will rival with Apple's iPad and Google's Nexus 7.