Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Licenses allow to add Scan-and-Match, quality upscaling to Cloud Player

Scan and Match technology and audio upgrades for matched files to 256kbps. It sounds a lot like iTunes Match, but it's not: has updated its Cloud Player with this functionality, which "matches" Apple's cloud-based feature set.

The only way this could work is if signed licenses with the music industry, and that's what they say in their press release. The company announced it has inked deals with the Big Four labels, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, as well as over 150 independent distributors, aggregators and music publishers.

Cloud Player users can listen to their music on a number of devices, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, Android devices (including the Kindle Fire), and any web browser. Soon, the company will add Roku streaming player and Sonos home entertainment system support.

As part of the change, is splitting its Cloud Drive and Cloud Player services. Previously, since did not have Scan and Match functionality, users had to upload their music in their Cloud Drive. Now, Cloud Drive will be used for file storage (think DropBox) and Cloud Player will be used for music.

Going forward, Cloud Player will have two tiers: free and Premium. Free users can store up to 250 songs; Premium users will be able to store up to 250,000 songs for $24.99 (once again, it sounds a lot like iTunes Match).

Although you might wonder why another $25 service is necessary, this move gives Android users similar capability to iTunes Match on their platform. Of course, there is still Google Music, which is still free, and is integrated into Android, but still requires users to perform the onerous task of uploading their music.

It's known that Google has been negotiating with music labels to get the same sort of licenses that Apple - and now - have, but that desire simply hasn't come to fruition, yet.

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