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Amazon Expands Cloud Offerings

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Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), the online retail giant, has released its Cloud Player app for Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone and iPod touch devices.

The highly anticipated app will allow U.S. consumers to stream and download music stored on Amazon's Cloud Player to Apple's iOS devices. Amazon's cloud-based music service was first unveiled back in 2011, but it has taken until now to release the accompanying iPhone app which has essentially the same functionality as the Android iteration.

Amazon's Cloud Player currently offers over 20 million songs and a million albums from its retail stores, while also providing the means the download full music libraries. In essence, it is a very similar service to Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Music.

Why Amazon took so long to release the iPhone app is unknown, but now that it is finally released, the company will hope to reap the rewards. Its cloud service is now a viable option for millions of iOS device owners.

Users might be concerned that they cannot buy music within the new app, but Amazon has dealt with these concerns in the past. In order to comply with Apple's policies, Amazon previously removed the buying option within the Kindle app.

Last week, Amazon web services announced that it had integrated configuration templates and auto-scaling features with its Spot Instances offering in an attempt to cut the cost of Cloud-based batch jobs, proving that Amazon is constantly working to improve the service.

The company also received a boost on Tuesday when it was revealed that NASA is turning away from the OpenStack platform, and it will be using Amazon Cloud going forward.

NASA CIO Linda Cureton said in a blog post that, "NASA shifted to a new web services model that uses Amazon Web Services for cloud-based enterprise infrastructure. This cloud-based model supports a wide variety of web applications and sites using an interoperable, standards-based, and secure environment while providing almost a million dollars in cost savings each year."

The approval of a government agency with the reputation of NASA can only be good for the reputation of Amazon's Cloud, but the release of iOS app is arguably even better news.

On Wednesday, Amazon was trading down about 0.3%.

Follow me @BCallwood.

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