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How to stream Amazon Cloud Player music on iOS devices

Though Amazon first warned that its new Cloud Player wouldn't work on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, the online music player now seems to be running fairly smoothly through Safari on an iOS device. Find out how to get started.

Listening to a little Aretha through Amazon's Cloud Player on the iPad.
Listening to a little Aretha through Amazon's Cloud Player on the iPad. Lance Whitney/CNET

iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users can now access Amazon's new Cloud Player on their mobile gadgets, bypassing the initial lack of support for Apple iDevices. It doesn't work flawlessly, but if you follow the instructions detailed below, you'll be streaming cloud music to your iPhone in no time.

Unveiled late March, Amazon's cloud-based music player lets you play music purchased and downloaded from Amazon or uploaded from your own local music collection, providing a way to retrieve your various music libraries online.

Technically speaking, the Cloud Player is geared toward PC and Mac users as a desktop-accessible service. The player also is available for Android devices through a dedicated Cloud Player app from the Android Market.

The Cloud Player was previously off-limits and unsupported on Apple iOS devices, but after some apparent change on Amazon's end, those of you with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch can now launch the player simply by running it through Safari.

To do this, you'll first want to access the Cloud Player through your PC or Mac. Browse to Amazon's Cloud Player page. From there, you can buy a song on Amazon to add to your cloud storage or open the Player directly and upload songs from your local library. You can add MP3 files and iTunes AAC files.

Once some music is in your cloud collection, you can then open the Cloud Player online through Safari on your Apple mobile device. When you try to access the list of songs that you just uploaded, you'll receive a message that your browser is not supported. Just continue past that message, pick the songs you want to hear, and they should start playing. I tried the process on both an iPad and an iPod Touch, and it worked relatively smoothly.

The requirements for the Cloud Player still say that it's optimized to run with Adobe Flash installed. That need for Flash was thought to be one reason the service didn't work on iOS devices. But apparently the Flash requirement wasn't the major issue. Or course, there are still some limitations without Flash.

You still can't upload music from your Apple iDevice to your Cloud Player or download music from the Player to your device, since those tasks require Flash. But the basic ability to store and play your music online through the Cloud Player does work as it should.

Amazon's Cloud Player starts you off with a free 5GB base plan, then bumps up the capacity incrementally, asking you to pay a buck per gigabyte per year, with plans ranging from 20GB for $20 all the way up to a terabyte for $1,000 a year. For now, customers who buy an entire album from Amazon automatically get upgraded to the 20GB plan for a year.