Cloud Player and FreeTime delayed until “This Spring”


When the Fire TV launched on April 2nd, Amazon said Cloud Player and FreeTime would be available on the device some time in May.

“… Amazon FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited will be available on Fire TV starting next month … Starting next month, you can also listen to your full collection of music through Amazon Cloud Player …”

~Amazon Press Release, Apr. 2, 2014

May has come and gone with no sign of either app. We wonder if Amazon’s rumored streaming music service is to blame.

Cloud Player gives you streaming access to a all the music you’ve purchased from Amazon, whether you purchased it in a physical format or a digital format. The service also allows you to upload your non-Amazon purchased music collection so that it too can be streamed.

FreeTime is a parental control feature that lets parents set time limits on kids’ various uses of the Fire TV. FreeTime Unlimited gives unlimited access to ebooks, movies, TV shows, educational apps and games aimed at 3-to-8-year-olds. FreeTime Unlimited costs $2.99 per child or $6.99 per family (up to six kids) per month for Prime members; $4.99 per child or $9.99 per family per month for non-Prime members.

The Fire TV product page now states “Coming This Spring” for the FreeTime feature. There is no mention of Cloud Player anywhere on the page. It is speculated that the delay could be caused by the rumored streaming music service which Amazon is expected to launch soon. The streaming music service is expected to be similar to Pandora and Spotify which offer free ad supported streaming music and paid ad-free options. The service is expected to be free for Prime members. If Amazon is on the verge of releasing such a service, it makes sense that they release Cloud Player for Fire TV simultaneously since the two services will probably be linked in some way or even be accessed from the same app.

Acquiring licensing deals for a new streaming music is no easy task. But the question must be asked: if a new music service is delaying Cloud Player and FreeTime, what other Fire TV features is it delaying? We haven’t seen a software update for the Fire TV since just after it launched in April. We know of at least one serious security vulnerability that has yet to be patched. Lets hope the next software update comes soon and brings with it Cloud Player, FreeTime, a new streaming music service, and maybe even motion gaming. Is that too much to ask?


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