Today, Amazon rolled out a new feature for users of its Cloud Player music service called AutoRip. The new feature will provide free MP3 files to users that purchase CDs from Amazon with the AutoRip logo. The MP3 files will automatically be made available for streaming or download in your Cloud Player application (or the web browser-based music library) upon purchase of an eligible album.
The MP3s are 256kbps files and can be played on Kindle Fire, Android and iOS devices as well as Samsung Smart TV, Roku, and Sonos boxes. You will also be able to stream them from the Cloud Player website. The free music files from AutoRip are stored in your Amazon Cloud Player library, but they will not count against your storage quota.
Currently, the AutoRip program extends to 50,000+ physical CDs available on the Amazon website. Amazon has stated that it is working to add additional albums to the program. Interestingly, the AutoRip program applies to all future purchases as well as any AutoRip eligible CD purchase from Amazon since 1998(!). Albums that are eligible for the free MP3 copies can be identified by the AutoRip logo, which is a double blue and green arrow.
Considering older CDs were likely ripped with inferior codecs and/or bitrates (like RealMedia…), the AutoRip service may be a great deal if you purchased your discs from Amazon! Personally, I’m surprised Amazon did not restrict the value add to Prime subscribers only (not that I’m complaining), but it should help to bolster physical CD sales if you are getting the MP3s anyway along with a physical disc.
The full press release is available below the break.
Introducing "Amazon AutoRip" – Customers Now Receive Free MP3 Versions of CDs Purchased From Amazon – Past, Present and Future
Customers who have purchased AutoRip CDs from Amazon dating back to 1998 will find free MP3 versions automatically added to their Cloud Player accounts – free of chargeAutoRip is the latest in a series of customer benefits exclusive to the Amazon ecosystem of digital content
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 10, 2013– (NASDAQ: AMZN)-Amazon today announced the launch of Amazon AutoRip, a new service that gives customers free MP3 versions of CDs they purchase from Amazon. When customers purchase AutoRip CDs, the MP3 versions are automatically added to their Cloud Player libraries, where they are available, free of charge, for immediate playback or download – no more waiting for the CD to arrive. Additionally, customers who have purchased AutoRip CDs at any time since Amazon first opened its Music Store in 1998 will find MP3 versions of those albums in their Cloud Player libraries – also automatically and for free. More than 50,000 albums, including titles from every major record label, are available for AutoRip, and more titles are added all the time – customers can just look for the AutoRip logo.
"What would you say if you bought music CDs from a company 15 years ago, and then 15 years later that company licensed the rights from the record companies to give you the MP3 versions of those CDs… and then to top it off, did that for you automatically and for free?" said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "Well, starting today, it's available to all of our customers – past, present, and future – at no cost. We love these opportunities to do something unexpected for our customers."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.
In many cases, customers can buy an AutoRip CD, including the free digital copy, for less than they would pay for only the digital album at iTunes.
AutoRip is available for industry-wide top-sellers like "21" by Adele; new and recent releases like "¡Uno!", "¡Dos!" and "¡Tre!" by Green Day, "Overexposed" by Maroon 5, and "The Truth About Love" by P!nk; classics like "Dark Side of the Moon" by Pink Floyd and "Thriller" by Michael Jackson; and Amazon customer favorites like "I Dreamed A Dream" by Susan Boyle, which was the most pre-ordered album of all time on Amazon.
AutoRip is the latest in a series of new digital music features from Amazon launched in recent months. The Amazon MP3 Store recently expanded its catalog to offer more than 21 million songs and everyday low prices on best-selling albums, many starting at $5. In June, Amazon launched Cloud Player for iPhone and iPod touch. In July, Amazon added new scan and match technology that enables customers to import music into Amazon Cloud Player by scanning their iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries and matching songs on their computers to Amazon's music catalog. All matched songs – even music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CDs – are upgraded to high-quality 256 Kbps audio and are made available instantly in customers' Cloud Player libraries, making it even easier for customers to enjoy their entire music collection anywhere. More recently, Amazon made Cloud Player available on Samsung TVs, Roku and Sonos, further extending Cloud Player's accessibility.