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Amazon Cloud Player FAQ: What is the Amazon Cloud Player Service?

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Question: Amazon Cloud Player FAQ: What is the Amazon Cloud Player Service?

Introduction

This article covers frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Amazon's MP3 Player service that can be used for storing and streaming your digital music library from the cloud.

Answer:

What is Amazon Cloud Player?

Put simply, Amazon Cloud Player is an online music locker service that you can use store digital music files. Along with the music purchases you make from the Amazon MP3 store, you can also upload digital audio files that you have accumulated in other ways such as from: digital music services; ripped audio CDs; recorded Internet streams; downloads from free and legal sources, etc.

Once your music is in the cloud, you can stream it to your computer and certain other supported devices. The advantage of storing your digital music in a remote location using cloud storage like the Amazon Cloud Player is that it gives you a disaster recovery option should you need to use it in the case of a major disaster such as fire or theft.

Is Amazon Cloud Player free to use?

There is a free option that you can use, but this is quite limited compared to Amazon's subscription offering. See the next question below for more details.

How much storage do I get?

This really depends on whether you are using the free version of Amazon Cloud Player or have paid a subscription to its premium service. The good news is that which ever service you eventually opt for, your Amazon MP3 store purchases don't count towards your storage limit -- only your uploads do. Your options are:
  • Amazon Cloud Player Free: you can upload up to 250 songs using this free service.
  • Amazon Cloud Player Premium: paying an annual subscription of $24.99 enables you to store up to 250,000 uploaded songs. This service also has a couple of other features worth pointing out. Firstly, you won't have to upload every single file from your computer as you might have to with other competing services. This is because Cloud Player Premium has a scan and match feature similar to Apple's iTunes Match service. It first scans the music on your computer to see if the songs you have are already in Amazon's vast music library. If exact matches are found, they are automatically added to your Amazon music locker negating the need to upload them. If you have a large library, this one feature could save you a considerable amount of upload time. Another feature which is also similar to Apple's iTunes Match service is the upgrading of songs to high quality 256 Kbps audio -- if there's a version available in this bitrate then your lower resolution songs get automatically upgraded.

System Requirements

In order to upload your music, you will need to use the Amazon Music Importer application. This works in conjunction with the embedded Amazon Cloud Player app in your browser. It is compatible with iTunes, Windows Media Player, and can also find music in folders on your computer's hard drive. To install this, you will need either:
  • Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, or XP
  • Mac OS X 10.6 & AIR 3.3.x (Intel-based)

What devices can I stream to

As well as being able to stream your music to a computer running Windows or Mac OS X, there are several devices that are compatible with Amazon Cloud Player. This includes: Android devices, Kindle Fire, iOS (iPod Touch / iPhone / iPad), and Sonos wireless Hi-Fi systems.
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