App Store Yanks Amazon Cloud Music Player, Google Music Could Be Axed Next

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Image: Jessica Finson
Image: Jessica Finson

A third-party app allowing iOS devices to stream music via Amazon’s Cloud Drive has been yanked from the App Store amid reported legal concerns, and that’s not all: the developer says Apple is delaying approving an update for another music app that streams music from Google’s similar cloud music service.

aMusic is an app by Innovative Solutions, which streams music stored in Amazon’s Cloud Music Locker to any iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. According to Apple, though, “legal issues” prevent it from being approved. Those murky legal issues have all the hallmarks of music industry interference.

Innovative Solutions’ developer James Clancey told the website Evolver.fm that his aMusic app’s App Store absence “is temporary” but didn’t have a date when it would reappear.

Innovative has also developed gMusic, a streaming music app using the Google Music service. Although originally approved by the App Store, an update has been held up for two weeks for unknown reasons.

What makes the so-called “legal issues” so strange is that both the Amazon and Google streaming music apps supposedly avoid thorny licensing issues by requiring users to either upload their music collection to the cloud manually.

Unlike its cloud competitors, Apple has teamed up with the music industry for its upcoming iTunes Match service. Not only does iTunes Match allow users to instantly mirror their iTunes libraries in the cloud without manually uploading their tracks first, users can also re-download higher bitrate, CD quality versions of those songs on any Apple device. However, iTunes Match differs from Google and Amazon’s cloud music services in that users can only download tracks, not stream them.

Amazon and Google’s position has been that they don’t need any additional licenses to allow users to host their tunes online, but the music industry has hinted that they don’t agree. Innovative Solutions may have been caught in the first crossfire between Amazon/Google on one side and the music labels on the other. As usual, though, Apple’s played it smart and safe and gotten all their deals in order before going live, guaranteeing that while the competition trades blows and wastes resources, they’re out of the fray entirely making money.