Think buying CDs has gone the way of the LP and cassette? Not so fast. Amazon launched a new service called AutoRip today that gives you access to the digital version of a CD immediately after you bought it. As a bonus, all the qualifying CDs you’ve bought since 1998 through Amazon have already been automatically been added to your Cloud Player account.
Amazon does a great job at selling things. Lots of things. However, Amazon knows that digital storage and access to digital media through the cloud is one of those great ideas that is only going to get bigger (and better). So to step up to Apple’s iTunes Match and Google Music, Rdio, and all the other online and streaming music services, Amazon has added a new and interesting feature to its Cloud Player service—AutoRip. Amazon’s press release lists these as the key features:
AutoRip features include:
- Free digital copies: Amazon customers who purchase AutoRip CDs get free MP3 versions of the albums delivered directly to their Cloud Player libraries – automatically, immediately, and at no cost – no more hassling with ripping CDs and finding a way to get them onto your favorite devices.
- For CD purchases dating back to 1998: MP3 versions of AutoRip CDs that customers have purchased since the launch of Amazon’s music store in 1998 will also be delivered to their Cloud Player libraries for free.
- Enjoy everywhere: Music can be played instantly from any Kindle Fire, Android phone or tablet, iPhone, iPod touch, Samsung TVs, Roku, Sonos, and any web browser, giving customers the freedom to enjoy music from more devices than any other major cloud locker music service.
- Free storage and backup: All AutoRip MP3s are stored for free in customers’ Cloud Player libraries and do not count against Cloud Player storage limits. Customers can buy music and know that it is safely stored in Cloud Player and accessible from any compatible device.
- High-quality audio: AutoRip music is provided in high-quality 256 Kbps MP3 audio.
This is a US-only service for the time being, but will be expanding to more regions in the future. Sarah Perez of TC took it for a spin and it sounds like the whole process of buying a qualifying CD then being able to listen—or download—the music immediately was pretty painless.
Though no one has come right out and said it—this is a great way to buy a CD for someone as a gift and get a copy for yourself for free. Nothing says you have to keep the CD once it arrives at your door. One thing that I’d like to know is if you buy a CD as a gift for someone (explicitly in the purchase process), how does Amazon handle AutoRip? Does that CD just not qualify? Do you get the copy?
I can’t remember the last time I bought a physical CD. My wife and I both get our music through iTunes and have our own iTunes Match subscriptions, could something like this (if it were available in Canada) change our buying habits? I don’t know. Question to you is, will it change yours?