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Androidians land some cool new features for Amazon Prime Music

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Amazon is slowly but surely trying to make its Amazon Prime Music streaming service more relevant in the cutthroat streaming landscape. Today the company announced some handy feature upgrades for Android users that should make the diminutive service more appealing.

First and foremost on the list is the added ability to download or save music for offline listening to an SD card on an Android mobile device. Amazon claims the feature is something users have been clamoring for, and it does seem like a handy way to let Androidians load up on tracks like crazy, while preserving crucial space on a phone’s internal hard drive.

Today’s upgrade brings other features on board, as well, including new artist detail pages designed as a “one-stop destination” for an artist’s most popular songs, albums, photos, streaming stations, and more. The app is also now supported on Android wear devices, allowing users to browse for tunes and control playback from an Android watch, or other Wear device.

Amazon is also trying to make it easier to find the latest tunes on Prime, offering a “New to Prime” tab so you can see which new tracks have come online recently, as well as a “Popular” tab to easily seek out chart-topping tracks, albums, and even playlists.

Offered as a sort of musical tip along with your $100 annual Prime membership, Amazon’s music service has thus far been more of an “also ran” offering behind more prominent on-demand streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and to a lesser extent, Deezer and Rdio. However, both Amazon and Google (which hosts Google Play Music) are steadily hoping to increase the viability of their music streamers as the digital marketplace continues to move from a download-first paradigm to the convenient world of streaming.

Amazon has had good success so far bolstering its Prime video streaming service (also free to Prime members), building up its vault of original series with some real success, even besting Netflix this year in the Emmy race. If the ecommerce giant can do the same with its music service, all the better. An Amazon Prime Music service with some real teeth would add some much-needed competition in the burgeoning streaming landscape. And healthy competition, from any angle, is always good for consumers.

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