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BMW, Mini Add Amazon Cloud Player Control

 Seattle – Automakers are stepping up their smartphone-connectivity options with the launch by BMW and Mini Cooper of in-dash Amazon’s Cloud Player control for iOS smartphones.

 The capability is available in BMWs and MINI Cooper vehicles from model year 2011 and up.

 The launch follows the integration of Amazon Cloud Player in Ford SYNC Applink-equipped vehicles earlier this year.

 No aftermarket head units are available with head-unit control of Amazon’s Cloud Player app running on iOS devices.

 With the announcements, iPhone users in BMW and Mini Cooper Connected vehicles can access their music using their vehicle’s dashboard controller and screen. Cloud Player lets users enjoy music with up to 256kbps audio quality and free up local storage space on their phones by storing their music in the cloud for playback, Amazon said.

 Amazon’s AutoRip service gives customers free MP3 versions of eligible CDs and vinyl records purchased from Amazon, including past purchases dating back to 1998. The MP3 versions are automatically added to the purchaser’s Cloud Player libraries.

“We embrace in-car entertainment as an extension of our customers’ listening experiences,” said Steve Boom, Amazon’s VP of digital music. “We want our customers to be able to enjoy their entire music library wherever they are–that includes being able to conveniently listen to and control their music while driving.”