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Amazon Cloud Player Now Available in Ford SYNC-Equipped Vehicles

Microsoft's competitors are starting to tighten the ecosystem vice and Ford announced today that Amazon Cloud Player will be available in several 2013 Ford vehicles equipped with SYNC AppLink. This combination allows users of Amazon’s cloud-based music service to access their music collections in Ford cars and trucks using standard audio controls and voice commands.

“We want customers to be able enjoy their entire music library wherever they want, from whatever device they choose,” Amazon vice president Steve Boom says. “And we know that cars and music go hand-in-hand. That’s why we’re excited to bring Cloud Player to the car.”

According to Amazon, this integration will enable:

  • Access their music playlists with the convenience of using voice recognition or dashboard controls
  • Play music stored in Cloud Player or play back music stored on their mobile phone
  • Enjoy eligible music in high-quality 256kbps audio
  • Get rid of CDs, wires, and other ways they used to connect and listen to their music in the car
  • Free up local storage space on their phones by storing and accessing music in the cloud

The Cloud Player integration is available on the 2013 Ford Fiesta, Mustang, Focus, E-Series, C-MAX Hybrid, Expedition, Fusion, F-150 and Super Duty models, Ford says.

This is a big win for Amazon. To date, Apple has established iPhone- and iPod-type connectivity as a de facto standard of sorts in most new vehicles, while users of other devices have to make do with USB or line-in connectivity. This is an area where Microsoft’s ecosystem—Windows Phone, Xbox Music, and so on—has languished.

Coincidentally, I’m in the market for a new car this year. And one of the many things I’ve been evaluating for this purchase is the audio system and integration with the devices and services I use. Suffice to say, it’s been pretty depressing so far. But Amazon Cloud Player integration is huge for me, as I do use and recommend that service.

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