The licensing complexities around music download stores with associated cloud lockers are well known, although initial challenges seem to have been ironed out for the likes of Google, Amazon and 7digital with their ability to automatically add songs to customers’ cloud storage when they are purchased as downloads.

Now Amazon is taking things on a notch if CNET’s report on its ‘Auto Rip’ plans is accurate. The idea: people buying CDs from Amazon will have their tracks added automatically to their Amazon cloud accounts, removing the need to rip and upload/match them from home.

CNET says ‘auto rip’ is the internal name for the new feature, but that it may change before launch. Even more disruptively, Amazon may also apply the idea to past CD purchases by its customers.

We await an official announcement to pick over the details, but Amazon’s plans are intensely interesting in the light of the music industry’s need to make the transition from physical music to digital as frictionless as possible for its more traditional customers.

We’re as guilty as anyone of focusing on the past pains of uploading a large digital music collection to cloud lockers, rather than pondering the even bigger task facing people who haven’t even ripped their CDs yet.

It’s a healthy reminder that even in 2013, the starting point for many people’s digital music journeys won’t be a hard drive full of MP3s, but shelves full of CDs.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight

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