By Jonathan Charles | Jun 14, 2012 10:15 AM EDT
Amazon Music is increasingly being seen as a credible alternative to iTunes, enhanced by the company's Cloud Player app for iOS which just launched. Despite receiving criticism for not working out deals with record labels at the time of launch, Amazon is now apparently doing just that.
Amazon is reported to be securing record deals with the four major record labels to launch an iTunes Match rival, which would allow a pre-existing music library to be matched with Amazon's and bring both libraries together.
Deals have been reached with Universal Music Group, EMI, Sony Music Group and Warner Music Group. With Sony and Warner in the "latter stages" of negotiations, sources speaking to CNET said the deals could be announced within weeks.
With Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player, the company was the first to allow users to upload music to the cloud. Users can upload music, e-books, videos and other content.
CNET thinks that Amazon won't require users to upload every song, individually, to the cloud. "Because Apple obtained licenses before launching its cloud service last year, it was allowed to scan the user's hard drive to identify the music there," CNET added. iTunes Match currently matches user's songs with those in the iTunes library.
"Amazon couldn't offer a similar service because the scan-and-match process involves creating and delivering copies of music to users who technically didn't buy them. Making a copy requires a license, say the labels; otherwise ... such copies violate the copyrights," CNET also said.
Apple's iTunes Match service costs $24.99 a year, but Amazon has a precedent for undercutting prices significantly in the past with the Kindle Fire retailing for $129.99 compared to the new iPad's $499.99. Around the 2011 launch, Amazon was rumored to be taking a loss on the product.
As mentioned, Amazon launched the Cloud Player app for iOS. It allows users to play songs in the Cloud or on the device, though doesn't combine the music, with the customary black-and-orange design and basic function controls creating a solid experience. An iTunes Match equivalent would give already-skeptical users another reason to remove the ties from the service.
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