April 5, 2013
Amazon already offers its AutoRip service, which began in January and provides free digital copies of purchased physical CDs. The company has just announced an extension of that service to include purchased vinyl records from Amazon dating back to 1998. For every vinyl purchase, Amazon will provide MP3 versions to the consumer’s Cloud Player immediately and for free. Every major record label is represented on AutoRip.
Thousands of records are available on the service. “We’re thrilled to extend this experience to vinyl records,” said Steve Boom, vice president of digital music for Amazon. “Many of our music customers are vinyl fans and it’s traditionally been very difficult to make digital versions of vinyl records — now customers can enjoy the albums they buy wherever they are, not just when they have access to a record player.”
PCMag interviewed Boom about AutoRip, a possible Amazon streaming service and more.
“It is something that’s uniquely Amazon,” he said of AutoRip. “We are really the only retailer that sells both physical music and digital music. The idea behind AutoRip is to eliminate that distinction between physical and digital music. When you buy something digitally from Amazon, we gave you a copy in the cloud. You have access to it from any device, it’s a secure backup should your hard drive ever crash, should you lose your phone, or whatever. And it occurred to us — why should physical be any different?”
As far as the rumored streaming service, he couldn’t say much. “There is nothing we can really say on the record. There are rumors about us and a lot of other players. Today we have a cloud music service based on ownership, and that’s service we provide,” he said.
And would that service perhaps be included as part of Amazon Prime? “Today Prime is an amazing value as it stands. [It offers] unlimited two-day shipping, and the Prime Instant Video service as well as the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. But yes, we’ve had a lot of customers indicate that it would be cool to have a music benefit in Prime.”