Amazon Cloud Player

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Amazon Cloud Player icon

Amazon just released a new version of their cloud player for iOS. It has me wondering why I use the Music app on my iPhone and iPad. First and foremost, AirPlay does not crash when using the Amazon app, and it can play iTunes music on my device! Amazon is taking aim at Apple and trying to take their customers. While I might not be buying much music from Amazon, I will start using their app to play music. It works better. It’s simply a better way to play my iTunes collection!

The most compelling feature of Amazon’s Cloud Player is that it can play iTunes music without crashing AirPlay. By clicking on the “device” tab, it can access iTunes music downloaded on the device, as well as music downloaded from Amazon. You can play your Amazon music directly from the cloud, if you don’t want to fill up your iOS device.

Amazon Cloud Player can play iTunes
The Amazon Cloud Player can play iTunes on your device without crashing AirPlay.

Amazon is very generous. The Cloud Player can be authorized to run on up to 10 devices from one account. A very large family (or one geek with too many gadgets) can share music from one Amazon account.

Unlike iOS Music, the Cloud Player can stream or download music. While iTunes lets you download music from the cloud, downloading a long song over a cellular network is not possible. In fact, after attempting this, some of my songs cannot be downloaded at all, which seems to be a bug. You also need to use two apps — iTunes to download purchases and Music to play them. Cloud Player downloads can be initiated by the user, or downloaded automatically, all within the same app. If one chooses to delete downloaded music, it can be downloaded later. The user can also configure the player to only allow streaming and downloading over a wi-fi network, preventing excessive data charges.

The Amazon Cloud Player user interface looks very much like iOS Music. Indeed, if one didn’t see the splash screen, they might think the app was developed by Apple.

Amazon Cloud Player vs. iOS Music
Amazon Cloud Player (left) vs. iOS Music app (right)

Both have virtually identical functionality. One can create and edit a playlist, shuffle music, play music directly, search for music, and browse music. Unfortunately, Amazon only offers an iPhone version of the Cloud Player. It works on the iPad, but it is not designed for the larger screen. (continue…)

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