Amazon updates streaming Cloud Player

Amazon has released an update to its Web-based music playing software.

Among the updates is a new feature that makes it a much easier and more seamless process for users to upload their existing music library from their computer to their Amazon cloud account.

“Amazon scans customers’ iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries and matches the songs on their computers to Amazon’s 20 million song catalog,” the retailer said in a statement.

“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,” it explained.

The Cloud Player has grown from a little idea at Amazon headquarters to one of the most significant competitor to Apple’s iTunes service.

There are many reasons why the Cloud Player is better than iTunes, but of course the most significant is that users never have to worry about losing an indivdual music file.

With iTunes, by comparison, users pay for a downloadable file and if their computer gets a virus, is damaged or stolen, etc, that purchase becomes pointless.

It was the inclusion of an Amazon MP3 app on Android that really made the service a viable iTunes rival.