Amazon’s rebranded Music service doesn’t just give you access to MP3’s you’ve bought from the behemoth, it also gives you access to digital versions of any CDs you’ve bought. This free companion app for Mac and PC allows you to play music both from your Amazon cloud account and locally stored tracks from iTunes and Windows Media Player.
If you’re an Amazon Prime user, it’ll also give you access to millions of tracks for streaming to your computer for free too, which you can subsequently download to listen offline. At time of writing, Amazon Prime Music is only available in the US.
As media players go it’s straightforward to install and use. Just log in with your Amazon account and all your previous purchases will immediately show up, followed reasonably swiftly by those digital copies of CDs. Switch to the Computer tab and it’ll give you access to your locally stored collection too.
The interface is split into three – a left-hand pane for browsing your collection, middle pane offering you information about the currently selected artist or album (including that all-important link to Amazon’s store) along with controls that allow you to play or manage selected parts of your collection (right-click to access these). There’s also an optional right-hand sidebar where you can opt to download music to your computer for listening to offline or for building cloud playlists.
One slight disappointment is that you can’t directly import music to your cloud account (250 tracks for free, 250,000 if you sign up for $24.99 a year) from app – instead, the More menu shortcut simply takes you to your web browser.
Playback is simple, with all the usual controls – play, previous, next, shuffle and repeat controls plus volume slider – easily accessible at the bottom of the Cloud Player window. It adds up to a neat solution for those wishing to use Amazon rather than Apple (iTunes) or Microsoft (Xbox Music) for their cloud-based music.
Version 3.0 sees a name change, a slight redesign and support – in the US – for Amazon Prime streaming.
Slight quibbles about the lack of built-in tools for importing music into the cloud aside, Amazon Music is a great tool for users of Amazon’s cloud music service.