I thought I could refuse Amazon's Cloud Player. I guess I was wrong.
Amazon unveiled official browser support on the iPad for Cloud Player. For me, and for many others, that's huge news. Previously, iOS devices hadn't been working too smoothly with Amazon's Cloud Player music-storage service. The newly updated Safari Web app isn't surprising, but it does work as advertised. iPad owners, you can officially rejoice.
Albums, playlists, and songs load up just like they would on a normal computer browser. Even better, the song list can be scrolled through with a single finger swipe. Songs play smoothly, and track-skipping and other controls work as expected. The best part, though, is that the Web app works well outside the browser in multitasking, too.
So far, after an early morning's quick play-through, all works as advertised, including background playback. I brought up the iPad's music controls while Lady Gaga played in the background, and could skip forward or back to other tracks. (Full disclosure: I bought Lady Gaga's album because it was on sale for 99 cents, and was thus the cheapest way to get myself 20GB of music storage for the year.)
Combined with Amazon's special limited offer of, this adds up to a pretty no-brainer solution to upload your music for on-the-go listening without iCloud. I'm not sure what I'll do next year when I'm asked to pony up more money to stay on Amazon's service, but I'll leave such decisions for 2012.