Amazon decides it actually does need licenses for music

Amazon logoIt has been over a year since Amazon.com introduced its Cloud Player—a personal music storage and playback service connected to a user's Amazon account. Only today, though, did Amazon announce that it entered into licensing agreements with "Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and more than 150 independent distributors, aggregators, and music publishers," and has made a new scan-and-match service available to Amazon customers.

The announcement suggests that Amazon is following the lead of Apple's iCloud, which has paid the dues of licensed access to major-label music for quite some time. It's also a change in the company's attitude toward licensing, which launched its CloudPlayer service in March 2011, boldly proclaiming, "Cloud Player is an application that lets customers manage and play their own music. It's like any number of existing media management applications. We do not need a license to make Cloud Player available."

This drew the ire of Sony Music, which said at the time that it was "keeping its legal options open." At least now that option isn't lengthy courtroom battles.

Amazon's new scan-and-match service copies customer's iTunes and Windows Media Player music libraries and matches songs to those in Amazon's own library of 20 million songs, populating your cloud player so you can listen anywhere. "All matched songs–even music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CDs–are instantly made available in Cloud Player and are upgraded for free to high-quality 256 Kbps audio," an Amazon press release wrote.

Finally, Amazon announced that it will be separating Cloud Drive from its Cloud Player service, reserving Drive for file storage and Player for music storage. While you can upload any file to Drive, the two services will have separate subscriptions (although both services offer a free base rate as well).

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Amazon

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