Amazon has announced the launch of its Cloud Player music service in the UK, preparing the market for the long-awaited European launch of its Kindle Fire tablet. The service, which scans users' iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries and matches their MP3s with high-quality copies stored on Amazon's servers, is now available in the UK in two tiers, mirroring its US equivalent — customers can store up to 250 tracks for free, or pay £21.99 ($36) to expand their capacity to 250,000. At the current exchange rate, the price is significantly more than the $24.99 paid by US users.

Cloud Player is accessible through a web interface, as well as through apps for Android and iOS (limited to the iPhone and iPod touch). But perhaps its most significant venue is Amazon's Kindle Fire, which is now available for pre-order in the UK for £129 ($210), alongside the £159 ($258) Kindle Fire HD. Music bought through Amazon's own MP3 store — a prominent feature on the tablets — does not count towards users' Cloud Player limits, making it an attractive option for centralized storage. According to Amazon's site, pre-ordered devices will begin shipping on October 25.