Despite the last decade seeing an explosion in the usage of digital formats that aren’t tied to a single physical medium, CDs are still selling – but most people just rip the tracks anyway. With that in mind, Amazon has launched its new Autorip service, which gives new CD buyers free MP3 versions of all the songs on the disc, as well as updating previous purchases to make those MP3s available too.
Not all CDs are included in the update, as there are licensing issues to deal with and presumably some labels didn’t like the idea of giving away music for free, but a lot of them have given it the go ahead. However they might want to consider giving their consent, as in the US trial of Autorip, that has been running since January, those taking part have noticed boosted sales.
However this isn’t just a nice offer from Amazon, this is an aggressive business move to attempt to cut in to Apple’s iTunes market. While not everyone on iTunes would want a CD showing up on their door as well as the MP3 download, it is something that Amazon can offer that Apple can’t.
It’s not the only one to ever try this though, as the BBC points out. HMV made some efforts, but never quite caught up with its digital contemporaries and has yet to make much of a splash in the download arena. Will this new move threaten more than just general purpose media stores like HMV? Or will this put a sell-by-date on some of the few independent record stores left?
KitGuru Says: I’ve never been a big music aficionado so I usually just listen to Youtube mixes and the like when working or exercising. What about the rest of you? Any big music buffs like the sound of Amazon’s Autorip?