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Author Topic: Interesting Amazon MP3 development  (Read 3637 times)

Carol Haynes

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Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« on: June 27, 2013, 10:21:48 AM »
Not sure if this is only new to the UK but I got a surprise today when I purchased a CD at Amazon.

They have added most of the CDs I have ever purchased from Amazon to my Cloud account and I can download the MP3 versions of those and also listen to them by streaming if I want.

This was new to me.

It is an interesting development because I have found it irritating that sort of things I like to purchase are often cheaper in CD format than MP3. Where is the incentive now to buy MP3s at all when purchasing CD gives you physical and digital copies?

Another question that is less obvious is what is the legal situation if you then sell the CD version you purchased? Since Amazon has added the digital content to your account presumably it belongs to you - there doesn't seem to be any way that Amazon can possibly police whether you still have the CD. Surely this will mean some people will buy the CD, download the MP3 files and then sell the CD and effectively get the music for free ???

It doesn't really affect me too much because I listen to classical music mostly and hate MP3 versions so I will be keeping all my CDs (hell I still have hundreds of vinyl records and cassette tapes that I can't bring myself to part with).

wraith808

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 11:55:59 AM »
Same thing with DVDs.  Many DVDs come with an ultra-violet code.  Once you've added it to your online collection, what's the incentive not to re-sell the DVD?

xtabber

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2013, 04:37:06 PM »
Not sure I understand your concern.  The musical content is copyrighted, not the means of distribution.

If you own the CD, it is perfectly legal for you to rip the contents to MP3 (or any other format) to listen to on any digital device you own, as long as you don’t give the music away.   And if you do buy a CD, the only thing keeping you from copying or ripping it and reselling the original is your conscience anyway. 

What Amazon is doing is actually likely to encourage the sale of new CDs, which can only help the artists.


Deozaan

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 04:40:52 PM »
What Amazon is doing is actually likely to encourage the sale of new CDs, which can only help the artists music labels.

FTFY. :P


Carol Haynes

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 07:01:48 PM »
The confusion I have is that Amazon give you the MP3 version of CDs in your cloud account. As far as I can tell once you have them you are not breaking copyright by selling the CD and keeping the MP3 files.

Actually in the UK it is illegal (though unlikely to be enforced) to rip CDs to MP3. Under currently legislation copying any copyright material is forbidden for any reason - including making digital backup copies, or ripping to MP3 players. This is particularly clear where any form of copy protection is used - it is technically illegal to own software or hardware that could potentially have the capacity to break copy protection - even if that is not the intention of the software, device or owner. It is a law that assumes guilt rather than innocence - so much for the law.

Effectively Amazon's new scheme means you can buy a CD (often cheaper than MP3 versions anyway, esp. for classical music) and then legally sell the CD still sealed as new and make a profit on the deal. In the meantime Amazon have given you a copy of the album in MP3 format. Have they really thought this through? (I just checked the terms and conditions and it says nothing about the MP3s only being there for the duration of the ownership of the CD - the only condition is if you download the MP3s and then cancel the order they will charge you for the MP3 version). See http://www.amazon.co...amp;nodeId=201123480

The difference with DVD and BluRay with downloadable content is that I think the license says it is for the owner of the DVD or BD - it would therefore not be the same thing. Also to get the download codes you have to open the package to you can't really sell it as new (esp. since the code, advertised on the pack, has been removed or already claimed).

Oddly I didn't ask Amazon for this service - I am not sure the copyright holders are going to be too happy with it either.

40hz

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 09:50:55 PM »
In some respects it's kind of sad that you have a business like Amazon offering (for whatever reasons) some additional value - and people (again for whatever reasons) immediately start coming up with ways to game the system.
 ;D

wraith808

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 10:02:33 PM »
The difference with DVD and BluRay with downloadable content is that I think the license says it is for the owner of the DVD or BD - it would therefore not be the same thing. Also to get the download codes you have to open the package to you can't really sell it as new (esp. since the code, advertised on the pack, has been removed or already claimed).

No, that is not true.  On amazon, I purchased a DVD for my wife.  It came with a digital copy.  She received that copy immediately.  I'm not sure we've ever even opened the DVD.

And it's not just Amazon.  I pre-ordered Django Unchained from Best Buy.  I paid $14.99 at the time, and watched it that night, even though the DVD hadn't shipped to the store.  The agreement specifically said that if I didn't redeem my $14.99 by a week (I think) after the release date, I forfeited my chance to apply that money to the price of the DVD.

What is that saying?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2013, 04:39:46 AM »
Most, if not all, the digital downloads I have seen with DVDs require the redemption of a code on a slip inside the box. The boxes also say a digital copy is included. If I redeemed the code and then flogged the DVD the buyer won't get the digital copy. At least in the UK.

There are no video downloads from amazon.co.uk yet and they even dropped their rental system. Having said that I still think this is a very odd marketing decision for the manufacturers to allow ... or is this a prelude to the complete disappearance of physical products and this is the way to move customers into the new digital only world?

40hz

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2013, 06:30:54 AM »
is this a prelude to the complete disappearance of physical products and this is the way to move customers into the new digital only world?

It's been rumored that's the direction the industry wants to go in. No more uncontrollable physical media.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2013, 10:38:20 AM »
No more uncontrollable physical media

Odd though as they have moved to unprotected MP3 format which is even easier to share than physical media.

40hz

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2013, 11:55:08 AM »
^Agree. Which is why I personally think it's mostly a rumor right now, and a possible long-term strategy at best.

I'd also guess that the economics of manufacturing and distribution figure as more significant considerations than any anti-piracy concerns - if the decision is ever made to completely abandon all hard media.

All DRM gets broken eventually. And any digitized data is successfully duplicated sooner or later. Whether it resides on hard media or soft, the outcome is the same.

xtabber

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2013, 04:16:06 PM »
The idea that anyone would buy a CD from Amazon just to get the music as an MP3 and sell the CD as new, strikes me as beyond ridiculous.

To begin with, you'd need to have a buyer lined up for the CD, unless you already had a music store (remember those) where you could sell it - in which case, you wouldn't be buying from Amazon in the first place.

The simple explanation is the Amazon makes money selling CDs, and that providing buyers with the music they have legally purchased in MP3 format gives it a way to compete with iTunes, Google Play and music subscription services.  Nothing wrong with that.



Carol Haynes

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2013, 10:59:13 AM »
It is quite possible to buy a CD from Amazon and then list it for sale again on Amazon (which costs nothing until you sell it). Anyone can sell on Amazon. I often buy stuff on Amazon that is new but slightly cheaper from a third party seller.

xtabber

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2013, 12:28:43 PM »
It is quite possible to buy a CD from Amazon and then list it for sale again on Amazon (which costs nothing until you sell it). Anyone can sell on Amazon. I often buy stuff on Amazon that is new but slightly cheaper from a third party seller.

Sounds like a quick route to bankruptcy.

Amazon has your cash until someone else comes along and buys your CD, at which point you will still be out the shipping charges both ways. You'd also have to sell it for less than Amazon to get someone to buy from you rather than Amazon, since you won't be offering the free MP3/streaming version that Amazon does.

BTW, I mostly listen to classical music and Jazz and am very picky about sound quality, which is why I always buy CDs (or flac) and rip my own MP3s for listening on players.  Amazon's rips are actually better than most (they use a relatively high bitrate VBR), but ripping them myself gives me complete control over quality, size and tagging.

Many newer CDs have been remastered at higher bitrates, so the sound is much better than older CD versions of the same music. CDs themselves are limited to 16 bit 44,100 Mhz reproduction, but the improved quality of the mastering makes the sound noticeably better. The highest quality MP3 rips are in practice indistinguishable from the CD and preserve the benefits of the remastering.

The same is NOT true of  DSD sound on SACDs, which can deliver vastly superior sound to anything you can get from a regular CD, if you have the proper playback equipment.  DSD cannot be ripped to regular digital formats, although most SACDs also incorporate a CD (Redbook) layer, which can be, albeit without the 5-1 surround and higher definition of DSD.

tomos

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Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2013, 10:37:49 AM »
Got a mail today from Amazon.de offering downloads of two CD's I bought at Christmas (last time I bought new CD's).
All mp3's I have bought from Amazon were also available for download/playing.

I *had* to use/update Amazon mp3 downloader (booh!)

Otherwise I'm happy.
It might encourage me to buy more new CD's (I tend to buy second-hand, or mp3's).
Tom