Amazon quietly adds Cloud Player support for iOS devices

May 9, 2011
Tech

It appears that over the weekend, Amazon’s Cloud Player and digital locker music service went from barely working on iOS devices to working almost as well as it does on Android devices. Using the service on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch still isn’t foolproof, in fact, it’s a bit of a pain to get […]

It appears that over the weekend, Amazon’s Cloud Player and digital locker music service went from barely working on iOS devices to working almost as well as it does on Android devices.

Using the service on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch still isn’t foolproof, in fact, it’s a bit of a pain to get to it. Much like the original workaround that was discovered for the service back when it launched at the end of March, users will need to jump through a few Mobile Safari hoops in order to get the Amazon Cloud Player working.

Here’s how to do it: Open Safari and go to Amazon.com. You’ll wind up on the site’s iPhone-specific mobile site. Scroll down to the bottom and find a button that says “Switch to Full Site.” Once you’re there, you can run a search on the search bar for “Cloud Player,” with the very first result above the Android app being the link you’re looking for.

Once you hit the Cloud Player landing page (the one that seems to be trying to sell you on the service) and you already have an account and some music saved in Amazon’s digital locker, just hit the button on the right side of the page marked “Launch Player.” You’ll have to sign into your Amazon.com account and you’ll be notified that you’re not using the correct browser for the service. Ignore that and the Cloud Player will load up like any other website, and it’ll work pretty well, too. You can control your music just as you would from the Cloud Player website on a computer, and it appears Amazon has added some snazzy tricks. The player will continue to run in the background on your iOS device, even as you do other things like play games, just as if it was using your device’s iPod music.

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It’s definitely not foolproof. The site doesn’t seem to like having your screen locked manually, for example, and I had issues with connectivity and playback when I was messing with the Cloud Player today. And overall, Amazon’s player performs less well than it would if there was a standalone app like Android users get. If you’re hard-set on using Amazon, this is a decent method of doing so, but there are other services available that work just fine with iOS, and are just as free.

Still, this is a good sign for fans of the Amazon cloud, because the company appears to have lifted its moratorium on iOS devices for the Cloud Player, and that suggests to me that Amazon isn’t above slinging an app Apple’s way to get more users hooked-up with its service. Rumors remain in the mill about Apple rolling out a cloud service of its own, but while the sun is shining, Amazon has an opportunity to make a little hay over in the Apple camp, just as it is on Google’s side of the battlefield.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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