updated 08:00 pm EDT, Sat May 7, 2011
Amazon Cloud Player enabled for iOS on web
Amazon in an unannounced step extended an olive branch to iPad and iPhone users by fixing Cloud Player access over the web. Having previously been denied access, iOS users can now play songs from Safari much as they would on the desktop. It works with multiple tracks and will even pause properly for an incoming phone call.
The approach doesn't give as much privilege as for Android, which has a native app. Amazon's decision could still signal at least a recognition of demand from iOS users and might be a prelude to a native app or a mobile-optimized website.
No mention has been made of plans to roll out a native app for iOS, and it's unclear how Apple would react if one was available. It has typically allowed subscription audio services, but its upcoming iCloud service could offer much of the same feature and might clash with Cloud Player. Apple has often blocked apps that "duplicate functionality" whose creators believe were actually shut down to reduce competition.
Cloud Player and its matching Cloud Drive are free for the first 5GB and can hold an unlimited number of songs bought from Amazon MP3. Subscriptions start at $20 per year for 20GB of total space and scale up to $1,000 yearly for 1TB. [via TechCrunch]