With so much comparison between Apple “this” and Google “that” (with Microsoft “and the other” thrown in on occasion), it’s sometimes easy to overlook Amazon
and its ever-encroaching roster of technologies, even though Amazon’s announcements are occasionally doozies.
The latest is a big overhaul to Amazon’s Cloud Player
, which includes scan-and-match technology not unlike Apple’s iTunes Match service. Basically, the scan-and-match feature will comb through your hard drive to find all your tunes, match them to Amazon’s substantial catalog, and added to the list of tracks you can stream through Cloud Player. Any past (or future) music you’ve purchased from Amazon will be added to Cloud Player, as well, as long as there are no rights restrictions. All the music in Cloud Player will be 256Kbps-quality MP3 audio.
Users can also now edit metadata on tracks, which includes, according to Amazon, “artist, album, album art, song title, composer, disc number, song number, genre, release year, duration, and bit rate”.
Finally, users can access and play music from up to 10 different devices (but only one at a time), including Macs and PCs, iOS devices, Android phones and tablets, and the Kindle.
Here’s the catch: Amazon will let you store up to 250 songs for free, with Amazon purchases not counting toward the limit. 250 songs is a drop in the bucket for even average users, so if they want to use Cloud Player extensively, they can either start buying their music from Amazon or pay for a premium account.
Hey, there are worse deals for music out there.