July 31, 2012 at 3:26 PM ET
On Tuesday, the folks at Amazon announced a feature that's been added to Cloud Player: Scan and match.
This new feature enables something very similar to Apple's iTunes Match on Amazon's cloud-based music streaming service. You allow Amazon to scan your iTunes or Windows Media Player libraries in order to match songs you own to those in Amazon's catalog. All of the matched songs — whether they were purchased from iTunes, ripped from CDs, or otherwise acquired — become instantly available in Cloud Player.
As with iTunes Match, the songs that you'll find in Cloud Player will be 256 Kbps, no matter how low-quality your own versions were (though Amazon hasn't yet confirmed which file format it's using to deliver the streamed audio). You can access Cloud Player — and stream these matched songs — from a Kindle Fire, Android device, iPhone, iPod Touch or any Web browser. In a side bit of good news, both Sonos and Roku players will soon get Amazon Cloud Player access, too.
Since the scan and match feature is simply an addition to Cloud Player, it won't cost you anything — assuming you have a small music library. You see, there's a free version of Cloud Player that lets you store all of the MP3s you've ever purchased on Amazon, along with up to 250 songs imported (or matched) from your own collection. If you need to store more of your own tunes than that, then you'll have to shell out $25 per year, which will grant you the ability to import up to 250,000 songs.
It's worth noting that you are able to download your songs anywhere, without DRM, in the format they were originally imported.
I'm going to give Cloud Player's new scan and match feature a try. Here's hoping that Amazon got things right.
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