Amazon takes another whack at iTunes

The online retailer hopes its new 'scan and match' feature increases the competition for Apple's music platform.

By Benzinga Aug 1, 2012 8:28PM
By Katey Stapleton, Benzinga Staff Writer

Although Amazon (AMZN) has launched its own Cloud Player music service, Apple's (AAPL) iTunes platform still dominates the industry. Amazon is trying to change that with its new "scan and match" feature, hoping the music service can dent the prevailing competition.


According to ZDNet, Amazon will be better positioned to compete with not only Apple, but Google's (GOOG) music player following the implementation of the service. Scan and match pulls data from customer's iTunes and Microsoft (MSFT) Windows Media Player libraries, allowing all songs that are not copy protected to instantly appear in Amazon's cloud player for free -- and even upgrading them a higher-quality 256Kbps audio. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)


Striking while the iron is hot, Amazon has clearly seen a chance for advancement as Google's Play music service has been plagued with licensing issues. While this is not the first upgrade in Cloud's revamp (the retail website has been working on a number of tune-ups), it certainly has come at a time of great opportunity.


Along with scan and match, Amazon's Cloud Player will offer a bevy of additional features. Users of Kindle Fire, Android, iPhone and iPod touch devices, as well as web browser users, can access the player from anywhere, ZDNet noted. Amazon is looking to add support to other top systems as well.


"Additionally, Amazon MP3 purchases -- including music that customers purchased in the past -- will be automatically saved to Cloud Player so that customers have a secure and free backup copy of the music they buy from Amazon," ZDNet reported.


Although the Cloud Player ups the feature race with iTunes, Amazon still has its work cut out in its battle against the industry's leading music platform.


Rumors spread Tuesday that Apple has booked an event for Sept. 12, likely to reveal an iPhone 5 announcement, according to Jefferies. With hyped followers ready to delve into i-mania once more, all Apple products will likely get a boost in the coming quarter from increased news coverage and reviews of the new device.


Amazon closed down less than 1% Wednesday to $232.09.


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