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Tag: Amazon Cloud Storage

Amazon Introduces AutoRip

Posted by JenThorpe at 2:07 AM on January 15, 2013

AudioRip logo Amazon has introduced a brand new service called AutoRip. This is a very different way of looking at music storage. In short, it takes the CD that you purchased from Amazon and puts it into your Amazon Cloud Player. It also will make that album available on your PC or Mac, Kindle Fire, Android phone, iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Right now, this service is only available to customers in the United States.

This is a rather unexpected move in a time when record companies are screaming about pirating and copyright. Perhaps they aren’t complaining about AutoRip because it only allows users to put CDs that they really have purchased into the Amazon Cloud Player? I’m not sure.

It is clear that gifts of CDs that your friends or family purchased for you from Amazon are not eligible for AutoRip. There is also this interesting piece of “fine print”:

Some record companies require us (Amazon) to insert identifiers in the metadata that accompanies music when you download it from the Amazon MP3 Store or Cloud Player. This includes the music you have purchased from Amazon.com and matched music imported to Cloud Player from your device.

These identifies may include a random number Amazon assigns to your order or copy, purchase date and time, an indicator that the music was downloaded from Amazon, codes that identify the album or song (the UPC and ISRC), Amazon’s digital signature, an identifier that can be used to determine whether the audio has been modified, and an indicator whether the music was purchased from the MP3 store or imported to the Cloud Player.

Look for the AutoRip icon in search results and CD detail pages to find out if it is one you can use with this new service. The MP3 versions of your past AutoRip eligible CD purchases are already available in the Cloud Player, where they are being stored for free. CDs that you purchased through Amazon, from as far back as 1998, are eligible for AutoRip.

Amazon came first with the cloud music storage service, but Google tried to trump them.  While I never tried out Amazon Music because I just didn’t find it compelling enough, I have been test-driving Google Music for a couple of weeks now.  Why did I find it more alluring?  Storage space!  Now Amazon is upping the ante, though.

While Google has no paid plan and no space limit, simply offering 20,000 songs of storage, regardless of file size, Amazon now has a different, but  also intriguing, plan.  It does come with one important, and potentially deal-breaking, caveat – you have to buy the music from the Amazon MP3 Store.  The unlimited storage they are advertising is for music you buy FROM them.  Although, if you already have an account, and have uploaded a bunch of non-Amazon purchased music you will also have unlimited storage….for a limited time.  How limited remains to be seen.

If you are wondering just how much space 20,000 songs takes up, well, I can’t say for sure, it varies based on your file type and encoding.  However, I can say that my 11,000+ songs (most at 256 KBPS) total approximately 90 GB.  That’s only slightly more than half of the number of songs that Google Music is willing to store in the cloud at no charge.

I am a big fan of Amazon and a regular customer, but for now I am happy with my choice of Google Music.  Amazon will need to go a bit beyond today’s announcement to sway me.  With this market still being new and just starting to heat up, though, I expect that they will be forced to compete with, not only Google, but the upcoming Apple threat as well.