Amazon's Cloud Player enters the App Store

More than a year after being announced, the online retailer's cloud-based music player now has a home among iOS devices.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Amazon.com's free Cloud Player app is now available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices via Apple's App Store.

The app lets you stream or download music stored in your Amazon cloud to your Apple devices. You can also play music already saved on your device and create your own playlists.

Filling up your Amazon cloud with music requires you to first download Amazon's browser-based Cloud Player and the MP3 uploader. After those are installed, you can view your cloud space and upload music directly from your computer. You can also store any music that you buy directly from Amazon.

The company grants you 5 gigabytes of storage for free. Need more, and you can upgrade to one of the paid options, anywhere from $20 a year for 20GB to $1,000 a year for a hefty terabyte. Music that you buy from Amazon doesn't count toward your quota.

The app itself works quite smoothly. I was able to easily upload music from my iTunes library to the Amazon cloud and then play it on my iPhone. I could also quickly switch between songs stored in the cloud and those stored on my device.

Amazon lets you view your music by album, artist, song, genre, or playlist. You can download any song from the cloud directly to your device. The typical player controls are all available. You can play, pause, skip forward, and skip back. You can scrub forward or backward, and shuffle or loop through your music.

Amazon's road to Apple took quite awhile.

The retail giant first unveiled its cloud-based music service more than a year ago, complete with an Android app but nothing on the Apple side. iOS users were forced to find work-arounds to use the player on their mobile devices.

The new app is designed specifically for the iPhone and iPad, so there's no dedicated iPad version. Apple tablet owners are stuck running it in the usual small screen or the larger lower-resolution mode. Why Amazon's Cloud Player took a year to hit the iOS market and why it failed to produce a dedicated iPad version are question marks.

CNET contacted Amazon for comment and will update the story when we get more information.

But at this point, the company faces a cloud that's grown increasingly larger with rival services, chief among them being Apple's own iCloud.

 

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