Amazon has extended its AutoRip
service to the United Kingdom and Europe, following a successful launch in the United States
. The service provides a digital copy of physical albums bought through the retailer, with songs automatically appearing in the user's Amazon Cloud Player
as MP3 files, which saves the user time in ripping tracks from the CD, as well as providing the music early without having to wait for the CD to arrive.
Users in France, Germany, and Italy, as well as the UK, gained the free service, with customers that bought music through Amazon as CDs, cassettes or vinyl from 1999 onwards receiving related files on their account, at no extra charge. Over 350,000 albums are usable with AutoRip with more to be added in the future, with the resulting 256kbps files able to be downloaded and placed onto other devices.
The addition of AutoRip in Europe serves two purposes. As well as promoting Amazon's own digital locker for music, in the face of competition from Google Play Music
and others, it could help the retailer and the music industry protect the eroding sales
of physical albums, something which severely damaged British music store chain HMV