By Jonathan Charles | Jun 13, 2012 10:10 AM EDT
Somewhat surprisingly, Apple has approved the Amazon Cloud player app for iOS which provides an alternative to iTunes in terms of a music store and player. So, how does it compare to Apple's established model?
The answer is it compares very well, and can legitimately be used as an alternative to iTunes if the closed-wall service isn't an attractive option. In terms of design, the app looks like the software used on the Kindle Fire, with a black-and-orange color scheme and a focus on album art.
Music can be sorted by "Cloud" and "Device" - available music externally or locally, respectively. Users can also categorize music by Playlists, Artists, Albums, Songs or Genres. Music is also brought in from iTunes, or a pre-existing library. The downside is the Cloud Player app doesn't allow music to be searched regardless of where the user is in the app: sorting music only shows tracks for Cloud- or Device-based songs.
Music can be shuffled and repeated, and the controls provide quick access to starting and stopping tracks along with navigation. Controls are also available on the lock screen or multitasking menu, though songs have a small gap between the end and the start and there's no option to remove the gap.
Currently music can't be bought from within the app, unlike iTunes, or via a link to the Web store. Users can't create a Cloud Player account (it can be done when the first track is bought from the service). "Those both seem to be based on Apple's requirements (and that 30 percent commission Apple takes)," The Verge said and added it makes the case for Cloud Player to replace iTunes a little harder. Buying music appears in the Cloud Player app, whether refreshing automatically every 10 minutes or manually.
It's almost an achievement by Amazon to just get into the App Store, considering Apple's strict guidelines and history of banning competitor's services such as Google Voice. Don't expect the Amazon App Store to launch, though. There's a Kindle Fire for that.
Amazon Cloud Player for iOS is available now.
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