Amazon to Provide CD Buyers With Cloud-Based MP3s For Free (Update: It's Just Launched!)

CNET is reporting that Amazon is planning to launch a reward scheme for CD buyers. When they purchase music in its physical form, they'll also receive a digital copy, which they'll be able to listen to via Amazon's cloud music service.

Update: The service is now live! See below for more details

Codenamed "Auto Rip", the service will automatically deposit the audio tracks into the customer's Amazon cloud account upon purchase. Then, they'll be able to listen to them via whatever device they choose. CNET also suggests that Amazon may roll out the service retrospectively, providing MP3s of past CD purchase, too.

That second—and most speculative—part of the story is the most interesting. While CDs may be dead to some people by now, chances are most of us have purchased a reasonable amount of music on physical media from Amazon in the past. Logging in to an Amazon account which is filled with all that music would be a somewhat of a boon.

The service echoes UltraViolet, a Hollywood version for DVDs which supplies customers with both physical and digital copies of a movie. Given that CDs are far, far easier to rip than DVDs, though, this wouldn't so much seem a matter of making consumers' lives easier—instead, it sounds like more of an attempt to convince people that the digital option is superior to the physical. Still, that's no bad thing. [CNET]

Update: Amazon has now rolled out the service. You don't need to activate the service; instead, just log in to Cloud Player and you should see a notification that Auto Rip is up and running. Your past CD purchases should be populated there for you to listen to without you having to lift a finger. Sweet!

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