updated 01:35 pm EDT, Wed June 22, 2011
Amazon back to negotiating for deeper Cloud Player
A seeming off-hand reference after repeating leaks of Amazon's tablet plans has revealed that Amazon is back into negotiations to improve Cloud Player. The company is "very engaged" with music labels to go beyond the upload-only service it launched with before. Progress and the nature of the services weren't mentioned to AllThingsD's sources for the claim.
It's presumed the terms are intended to press for a deal similar to that for iTunes Match. Apple's system still allows uploads but will first try to check against the official iTunes catalog and offer to stream tracks directly from its own servers. Amazon's service is available for free for the first 5GB but, because it only exempts Amazon MP3 purchases, is very limited for those who have larger collections.
An upgraded cloud service could play an important role in Amazon's tablet plans. The Coyote and Hollywood models are poised to focus heavily on Amazon's services, particularly Instant Video and the Amazon Appstore. Apple's inherent content advantage with iTunes has been credited with fueling the iPad by giving it ready-made sources for books, movies, music, and video. In part owing to fragmentation, Android tablets have had few options and usually have to turn to to third-party apps that may not be available on every device.
Amazon has never publicly commented on its dealings with labels but is known to have lost favor from labels looking to skim as much revenue as possible from cloud services.