Amazon’s Prime Music stores tracks on an SD card

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon Music Updated With SD Card and Android Wear Support.

Amazon is seemingly getting ready to expand Prime Music’s reach with an international expansion: The company is looking to launch its music subscription service to Germany, according to a report from local technology news website heise.de.According to Android Central, the update brings support for Android Wear devices as well as the ability to add your saved songs or albums from Prime Music to your phone’s SD card without taking up valuable on-board storage. That isn’t to say that it isn’t a popular app, just that it isn’t on the same level of popularity as options like Spotify, Play Music Unlimited, Slacker Radio, and Pandora.

Screenshots show that Amazon is promising German users access to more than one million songs, which would mean that the service will launch with about the same catalog size as in the U.S. The offline playback option is handy, as it allows you to listen to your collection of tracks from Prime Music’s over a million songs while traveling, or anywhere else you may not have an internet connection. Offered as a sort of musical tip along with your $100 annual Prime membership, Amazon‘s music service has thus far been more of an “also ran” offering behind more prominent on-demand streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and to a lesser extent, Deezer and Rdio. The service previously allowed users to download songs directly to their smartphone, and putting the SD card off limits made it harder to save a large number of songs for offline playback.

But without support for SD cards – a common way to expand the storage space on Android devices – users were limited in how many songs they could tote around at any given time. That’s even more true now then just a few weeks ago as Amazon has just begun to send out an update that brings in some new features which might entice more users to give the app a try if they haven’t already. Amazon claims the feature is something users have been clamoring for, and it does seem like a handy way to let Androidians load up on tracks like crazy, while preserving crucial space on a phone’s internal hard drive. Alongside these updates, Amazon Music made a few other interface tweaks, including the addition of a “New to Prime” tab in Prime Music showing the newest arrivals, and a “Popular” tab that displays the top charts for songs, albums and playlists.

SD card support isn’t exactly nonexistent in 2015, but it’s definitely on the downtrend, with many phones – including the latest in the Samsung Galaxy line – going with a more iPhone-like unibody build that leaves little room for things like extra slots and replaceable batteries. Today’s upgrade brings other features on board, as well, including new artist detail pages designed as a “one-stop destination” for an artist’s most popular songs, albums, photos, streaming stations, and more. Lyric support, which is already available in the United States, has now also been added to the UK version, allowing users direct access to lyrics for thousands of songs.

Now consumers with an Android Wear-powered smartwatch can manage music right from their wrists, including controlling the playback of the songs they may already be listening to. Though Amazon Music today still has a smaller catalog of tracks than rivals like iTunes or Spotify, it’s a service that’s been steadily improving over time, as Amazon scores exclusives, streamlines its software, challenges Pandora with its own “Prime Stations,” and more. If someone cannot not find a song they were looking for at a particular time, they can now just check the New to Prime or Popular tab to look up any music content which they should be aware of. The service is also closely tied in with Amazon’s device ecosystem, including its Fire tablet, the Fire TV streaming devices and Amazon’s Echo loudspeaker and personal assistant.

However, both Amazon and Google (which hosts Google Play Music) are steadily hoping to increase the viability of their music streamers as the digital marketplace continues to move from a download-first paradigm to the convenient world of streaming. Another new tab that was added in this latest update is called “popular music” which as the tab’s name suggests, is for helping users find music that’s popular from various categories.

Amazon has had good success so far bolstering its Prime video streaming service (also free to Prime members), building up its vault of original series with some real success, even besting Netflix this year in the Emmy race. The move helps set up Prime Music as an ideal companion when going for a run or a workout, and with a bigger library to choose from, Android smartwatch and device users can even consider not using their smartphones at all when going on a run.

Amazon should probably consider noting the songs people search for on Prime Music, and then send the users a notification when that song becomes available on Prime Music. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has marketed its Apple Music service considerably well, and has even received negative publicity with popular artist Taylor Swift initially speaking out against the service.

Apple has its wide array of popular devices like iPhones, Macs and iPads to help promote its music service, whereas Amazon has to rely on other means. Breaking down the annual fee and benefits to monthly segments, it can even be argued that Amazon’s Prime Music subscription offers better value for money.

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