March 29, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
I hate iTunes. I vehemently, passionately, unflinchingly hate iTunes. That’s why I buy all of my MP3′s from Amazon, and why I’m happy to see that the Amazon MP3 Android app has updated with Amazon Cloud Player.
Announced today for customers in the United States, Amazon Cloud Player is what Google Music was supposed to be: a storefront for music that stores MP3′s on-device or streams them from the cloud. Amazon Cloud provides a 5GB locker for streaming songs purchased from Amazon, but the account will be upgraded to 20 GB once users purchase an MP3 album. The 15-million song library streams to your phone with ease.
Amazon Cloud sadly isn’t retroactive, so the hundreds of dollars worth of music I already purchased from Amazon are not instantly available to stream. However, users can get around this by uploading songs to an Amazon Cloud account. These accounts are limited to 5GB, but new songs purchased from Amazon do not count towards your storage limit. This section is primarily for your completely legal and not-pirated-at-all songs. An AIR-based upload tool is downloaded to your desktop and then auto-scans your music library to find folders to upload.
Cloud Player does a terrible job refreshing, so uploads require signing-out and in for your uploads to appear (it took me several attempts). Songs purchased through the Amazon MP3 Store appear instantly as long as the buyer taps a “Save to your Amazon Cloud account” button. Once available, users will have on-demand streaming of their favorite songs and a chance to download certain songs for offline playback.
Until Google finally manages to release Google Music on Android, Amazon will be the only game in town for acquiring, playing, and downloading music from a big name within one app. In its current incarnation, Amazon Cloud is the only option but someone could easily introduce something better. For now, enjoy the music.
App: Amazon MP3