Amazon Cloud Player

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

Wanted to do a quick post to let everyone know that a new feature is active on Amazon’s Cloud Player.  I had the player on my desktop before but hadn’t bothered to download it on my phone.  Previously, the Cloud Player could be used to play digital songs purchased on Amazon (and your own library not purchased on Amazon up to a limit (5 GB?) after which you have to pay $25 to store more).  Now, CDs that you’ve purchased going back to ten years will get added to your Cloud Player library.  And new CD purchases will get “autoripped” to your Cloud Player.

Pretty neat idea by Amazon here.  I downloaded the Cloud Player app and after signed in, it populated my library with songs I’d purchased on Amazon, including several CDs.  The funny thing is a lot of those CDs were gifts for my father, so now I have access to several bluegrass, old country (Hank Williams) and Bruce Springsteen’s last album.  This is nice for me, as they are things I might have borrowed from him at some point to rip, but now I don’t have to.

This is interesting by Amazon.  You can find some values where MP3 albums are more than the CDs because now you’re getting a copy of the MP3 anyway when you buy the CD.  You might also see used CD stores getting a bounty of “new” merchandise, because if you’re getting the MP3 when you buy the CD, what’s the use of the CD (unless you’re still into things like liner notes and artwork).

Some other points maybe tempering the good news.  It’s unclear at this point, but I noticed some comments indicating that not all record labels are “playing” with Amazon, so you might not see every CD appearing in your library.  Also, I’ve been reading complaints about the iPhone app because while the song is streamed the first time you play it, it appears the song is being downloaded into a cache for future playback, which could quickly become a space hog.  Will have to figure out if that’s true or not.  For now, I’ll listen to that Sara Watkins album I got my dad to expand his musical horizons and never bothered to get myself!

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