People have a tendency to look fondly back at the past as a better, simpler, and easier time. While this might be true of some things, it was not the case with CD’s. When the digital audio revolution begun, CD’s were hailed as a giant leap forward in music listening. You were expected to pay for such an advancement and albums that were 12 bucks on cassette where 17 on CD. “In the future prices will come down” was a commonly hear phrase at the time. Well, years past and prices stayed the same and consumers got annoyed.
Then “Napster” happened. People began downloading songs illegally and burning their own CD’s. Instead of being gouged for 17 bucks teenagers were paying zero. Giant record stores like “Tower” began to bankrupt and close. Malls that once had three record shops suddenly had none. People started to wonder if the record industry would fade into extinction.
Apple arrives. In the early 2000’s Steve Job and itunes entered the scene and saved the day. By reducing the cost of an album and allowing people to buy individual songs for 99 cents Apple began to fight the tide of illegal piracy and return consumers to a pay system. While piracy still exists Apple has grown into a music and entertainment heavy weight. Other players have tried to enter the market, but none have had any success.
Enter Amazon. While few companies would even consider going up against a behemoth like Apple, Amazon stands a part from the rest. Amazon is a big player in the retail space, they have excellent customer service, and have developed their own technology like the Kindle and Kindle Fire.
Recently Amazon has announced its “autorip” feature on eligible CD purchases. This is how it works, you buy CD with the autorip feature and not only do you get the physical CD, but you also get a digital copy on the Amazon cloud. You can listen to the songs on the amazon cloud player or download them to an MP3 player of your choosing.
Not only does this serve as an instant back up, but in many cases the physical CD is now cheaper than buying an album from itunes. Amazon is also making this feature available for past purchases going all the way back to 1998. If you buy or used to buy a lot of CD’s you may have a few albums sitting in the Amazon Cloud waiting for you right now.
I did a quick check and I found two “Muse” albums that I bought as gifts on my cloud. This is one of the great potentially unintended consequences of this service. You can buy someone a CD with the “autorip” feature and you get the songs in your “Amazon Cloud” and vice versa. Here is a list of albums that are included in the “autorip” program, there are over 4000.
So there you are. Another option in the word of mp3 music. You can buy them form apple or amazon or buy the cd and get the files from Amazon thanks to “Autorip”.