June 12, 2014 Last Updated 7:41 am

Amazon.com rebrands its Cloud Player app as ‘Amazon Music’

Amazon adds streaming music to its mobile app, though selection is far less than other services, and users will have to wait for new releases

Amazon Music.

AmazonMusic-iPhone5-lgThe app update is more than just a renaming, it also introduces a streaming service which is free for Amazon Prime members. Remember, if you will, Amazon raised the price of the service to members to $99 a year, but didn’t offer much new to encourage paying customers to remain. The main benefit of Prime was originally its free shipping, then streaming video content. Now it is music.

Amazon’s Cloud Player app allowed customers to stream the music that they had purchased through their mobile devices. Amazon would “auto rip” and any CD or mp3 purchased through Amazon.com and make it available for streaming.

Now Amazon has thrown in over 1 million songs that a Prime users can stream along with their purchases.

The move is all an attempt to keep those Prime customers happy by making the service seem worth the money spent each year.

Is it a serious move into streaming music? That depends on the customer. Big time music lovers will find Amazon’s selection rather small compared to the other services. One million songs sounds like a lot until you start searching for the artists you enjoy. Also, the available music feels rather like what you find on Netflix – yesterday’s popular music, but neither today’s hits, nor a deep selection of music from dives genres. (In fact, the report is that new releases will be delayed six months before appearing in Amazon Music.)

In other words, it is not going to appeal to those who really care about their music.

But Amazon Music does still do that one thing that other services don’t: they bring in your purchases. So those music tracks that were part of Amazon Cloud Player are still there. That is something Apple needs to do, and once again they were beaten to the punch.

If you are already a Amazon Prime member today’s news adds another reason to stay a member. For those who are less discerning in what they listen to, today’s addition of streaming content is also good news. But if you are still searching for the best music streaming service and are often frustrated by the poor selection of artists to choose from, Amazon Music is probably not for you.

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