News of the service’s debut was leaked last night by CNET, which said it would be arriving “soon.”
At launch, the AutoRip service is offered for over 50,000 albums on Amazon.com, with more on the way, including both back catalog and most new releases. The option has been made possible by deals made with record labels and music publishers, Amazon says. According to Steve Boom, Amazon’s VP of Worldwide Digital Music, the company now has deals in place with the three major labels (EMI, now a part of Universal; Sony; and Warner) as well as hundreds of independent labels. On the publisher side, Amazon has participation from all the major music publishers and “hundreds, if not thousands,” of smaller publishers, says Boom.
Amazon’s customers won’t have to take any action to switch on AutoRip. In fact, even if users have never signed up or downloaded the Cloud Player software, the option will be enabled if they’ve ever purchased a CD on Amazon. In that case, those customers will receive an email shortly after the service’s launch today informing them that a digital copy of that purchase (or purchases) is now available in the cloud for free.
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