Amazon opens 22 million songs to iOS with optimized MP3 store

The new web store buys songs for Amazon's Cloud Player app
The new web store buys songs for Amazon's Cloud Player app

Amazon discovered a loophole that allows iPhone and iPod touch users to buy and download music from Amazon's MP3 store without dealing with iTunes.

Thursday, the company launched a redesign for the Amazon MP3 store that is optimized for iOS Safari browsers.

With the new web store users can purchase music directly from their iPhone or iPod touch browser, which is then stored in their Amazon Cloud Player account.

In order to actually listen to the tunes, users will need to download the Amazon Cloud Player app, which can either play music directly from the cloud or download music for offline playback.

You've got to love loopholes

The newly optimized Amazon MP3 store is good news for iOS users, providing access to Amazon's music catalog of 22 million songs, as well as frequent sales.

Of course, Amazon could have simply allowed song purchases through the Amazon Cloud Player app and saved users an extra step, similar to the Android version of Amazon's app.

However, if Amazon were to sell music through its native iOS app, then it would owe Apple a 30 percent cut of each song purchase. No such fee exists for purchases on a website though, making the web-based MP3 store a convenient loophole for Amazon to still reach the iOS market.

The catch is that users will have to split their music library between Apple's own Music app and the Amazon Cloud Player, which is really what Amazon is going for.

The more devices that can buy and play from Amazon's music catalog the better off it is, and even more so if Amazon can avoid fees along the way.