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.
Last night, I downloaded some music from Amazon for the first time and I was both irritated and pleasantly surprised by the experience. I’d gone to Amazon because I’m not an iPod owner and wanted to get some DRM-free music for playing via a DLNA media server and also my Palm Pre.
(I know this is a tech site but just in case you are interested, the tracks were “Heartbreak” by M’Black. It’s a pumping euro dance track with a great vocal from Nicol – it’s going to be my summer theme.)
But I digress. As I was downloading a number of tracks, I had to use Amazon’s MP3 downloader, which I didn’t like the sound of as I run Linux. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Amazon offers the downloader for four flavours of Linux, including OpenSuSE 11.2….except that I’m still on 11.1. Tried the 11.2 version but didn’t work – too many missing dependencies. If there’s two things wrong with Linux, it’s fragmentation and dependency-hell.
So I had to borrow my wife’s laptop and download the Windows version which worked flawlessly. The downloader also added the tracks to the iTunes software library on the laptop (she is an iPod-owner) but I found you could easily turn that off. The tracks were left in a download directory as well, so it was then simply a case of copying the tracks to the media server and Palm Pre for my listening pleasure.
Overall, I can see that if you are Windows user, the experience is flawless and gives the benefit of DRM-free music, quickly added to either iTunes or Windows Media Player libraries, but also direct access to .mp3s for copying to media servers or other music devices. As a suggestion for improvement, it would be good if the album art was included in the download.
As a Linux user, slightly disappointed that you had to be on the latest version and if you weren’t, the options were limited. Great that Amazon is at least supporting Linux in some shape, though.
Monster Show tonight longest of the year audio comments and e-mails are flooding in keep it up. Voice Mail hotline is +1-619-342-7365 or email email@example.com. Apologies on the last shows Audio it is squared away tonight. Jet Lag got the best of me on the last podcast! Huge tech line up tonight, I am still on the road..