Amazon, the online retailer that started in the humble roots of selling books before becoming the gargantuan online one-stop-shop from anything between gym equipment to your weekly groceries, has unleashed another tantalisingly terrific product to market: Amazon AutoRip.
Forming a part of Amazon Cloud Player – the music listening service that allows you to upload your music catalogue or listen to MP3s bought from Amazon while on the go – AutoRip automatically gifts physical media purchasers with downloadable files of their albums.
This means if you decide to pick up that latest Kanye West album from Amazon on CD, or perhaps you fancy Daft Punk's Random Access Memories on LP, you'll automatically get the MP3 files for free in Amazon Cloud Player
Not bad aye?
But that's not all. Amazon have pulled the greatest move by retroactively gifting for any music purchases made by Amazon customers on albums eligible for AutoRip, and all for absolutely free!
This means that any music purchased from 1999, when Amazon began selling music online, is added free of charge to a users Amazon Cloud Player library, with little to no effort on the customer's behalf.
There is a caveat though, you can only have 250 songs in your library for free. But this can be accessed across all devices, meaning your Android phone or tablet, your Kindle Fire, your PC, Mac or iOS device can all make use of this service.
If you'd like more than 250 songs accessed anywhere on the go, for just Â£21.99 a year you can store up to 250,000 tracks (not including MP3 purchases you've made – they'll be stored for free).
So, what makes this move so devilishly clever?
Well, it goes right up against Google's attempt with Google Music as a music storage and streaming platform. Because Google Music only deals with MP3 purchases, Amazon's move to offer MP3 with every eligible physical purchase – of which is over 350,000 albums – means that Amazon Cloud Player will become the default for many, especially as it streams effortlessly to devices and can be downloaded and stored.
It's also providing music at 256 Kbps MP3 quality, so while not as sharp as that of a CD, they're high-quality MP3 files that music aficionados will certainly appreciate.
"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 albumsâ€¦ 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 Amazon.co.uk customers – past, present, and future – at no cost. We love these opportunities to do something extra for our customers."
Your move Google. Your move.
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