The battle for digital music -- and cloud-based music solutions -- continues. Amazon has announced Amazon AutoRip, a service that gives anyone who has purchased eligible CDs from them since 1998 a free digital copy of that CD.
From Amazon's press release announcing the new service:
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.
Since all AutoRip tracks are unprotected MP3s, they'll easily import to iTunes and play on iPhones, iPads and iPods.
I've just used the service and was notified that I have 19 CDs I purchased between 1999 and 2003 waiting for me as a free download (I stopped buying CDs in 2003 with the advent of the iTunes Music Store). That's pretty cool. Now, if Amazon does the same for past and future DVD purchases, I could see this as potentially being a huge threat to iTunes' media sales.