Amazon's AutoRip helps ease consumer transition to the Cloud

Admit it, we all thought the CD was on its way out, and it probably is. Yet if any company wishes to hold on to sales a little bit longer, it’s Amazon.

Today the firm has announced ‘AutoRip’ which offers any physical media you’ve (ever) bought to stream for free from the Cloud.

 

Whilst many music-lovers have already subscribed to one of the extensive-list of new generation streaming services; such as Spotify, Google Play Music, Rdio, Pandora, Xbox Music, or Deezer. Many still prefer the reliability of a good ol’ fashion disc.

This new service could be the “gateway” for the physical format generation to move online.

Picture the scene – You’ve bought a new CD on Amazon for a camping trip; maybe it’s not been delivered yet, or maybe you’ve left it at home in your hurry to get the kids in the car.

Arriving at your destination you’ve finally got the tent up (in the rain undoubtedly) and you’re ready to kick back with some well-earned tunes.

Then that creeping, dreaded realisation sets in...

But wait, you can stream it online from your mobile! This is when you realise this new streaming fad isn’t so bad after all and promptly decide to upload the rest of your music collection to Amazon Cloud Player when you’re home. Well done Amazon, you’ve converted someone to the Cloud.

Myself personally, I’m already a hefty music-streaming consumer. Spotify - and its social discovery - has helped me find endless amounts of new songs available instantly.

There is certainly no turning back for me, but logging into my Amazon account and seeing CD’s I used to buy, between some amount of embarrassment, I did find some forgotten favourites.

“What would you say if you bought CDs, vinyl or even cassettes from a company 14 years ago, and then 14 years later that company licensed the rights from the record companies to give you the MP3 versions of those albums… and then to top it off, did that for you automatically and for free?” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO.

He added: “Well, starting today, it's available to all of our Amazon customers – past, present, and future – at no cost. We love these opportunities to do something extra for our customers.”

For those of us already used to living in the Cloud, I think this marks an exciting step for Amazon who is already rapidly positioning themselves away from being an online retailer; to a modern-day technology giant up there with Google, Microsoft, and Apple.

Watch this space.

What do you think of Amazon’s “AutoRip”? Does it mark the future of the company? Or is it just a last, futile attempt at holding on to CD sales?

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