It's been nearly a year and a half since we last wrote about the Amazon MP3 app, because that's the last time the company did anything interesting with it. Compared to the competition at Google and elsewhere, Amazon's iTunes competitor looks positively stale. Today the Amazon MP3 app gets a fresh coat of paint to bring it more in line with current visual trends, or at least, those trends that are on display in the Kindle Fire tablets.
Like the U.S. Cloud Player, any purchases made on Amazon's MP3 store can be stored online free of charge. If users want to upload their music library to Cloud Player, they can store 250 tracks for free. Users with larger libraries can pay £21.99 per year for the premium service, which can store up to 250,000 tracks.
I make no bones of the fact that Amazon's MP3 service is my favored music playback option on Android, and the service just got a big update to compete with its primary rival - Google Music. The general changelog is here, but it's a little difficult to parse, so I'll give you the gist.
Google Music is old hat. Sorry, guys - it's true. Streaming? Amazon's Cloud Player and iTunes iCloud both have it. Locker storage? Amazon gives you a decent amount, too - and they might even increase it if they feel Google Music is one-upping them. Purchase options? Apple and Amazon both have more music you can purchase digitally, including titles from Warner Music Group (which Google Music does not have), where many major contemporary artists are signed.
Google's Music service has been an incomplete experience since its unveiling at Google I/O back in May. While Music Beta does allow you to upload your songs and stream them to your Android device, it lacks any kind of storefront. Google does have a small library of featured free tunes for Music users, but I can't say any of the albums or artists there have ever really interested me too much.
Miro is an open-sourced, free solution to your media problems with Android. It's touted as an all-in-one solution, and with its feature list, I'm not about to disagree. It offers a media player, BitTorrent client, video encoder, music store and device sync component all wrapped up in a single program, which covers some of the problems Android has run into without its own downloadable client.
With your phone connected to your computer, you can use Miro to sync music and video to your phone.
While some companies are content to just talk, talk, talk about what they are doing, Amazon seems to be quietly hard at work. Last week they gave us the Amazon Appstore for Android and last night they dropped another bomb – the Amazon Cloud Player.
If Grooveshark and Dropbox had a baby, it would be Amazon Cloud Player. It consists of Cloud Drive - 5GB of free cloud storage on Amazon’s servers (upgradable to 20GB with the purchase of one album or for $20/year; $1 per gigabyte after that) - and the Cloud Player, which can be accessed from the web or from an Android device.