Amazon's AutoRip Service Now Includes Vinyl Purchases

Amazon said on Wednesday that it has expanded its popular AutoRip music service to actual vinyl records. That means customers who have purchased qualifying vinyl records through the online retailer's Music Store since its 1998 launch will automatically have free digital copies shoved into their personal Amazon Cloud Player account. The same is true for anyone purchasing qualified vinyl records through Amazon from now on.

Amazon launched AutoRip in January 2013 to give customers free digital copies of new CDs they just purchased, as well as for CDs they bought over the last 15 years, eliminating the need to make a digital copy (aka rip the disc). Thousands of records, including titles from every major record label, are available for AutoRip. Amazon is continuously adding titles, the company said, so just look for the AutoRip logo on the product page.

"AutoRip has been wildly popular with customers since it launched earlier this year," said Steve Boom, Vice President of Digital Music for Amazon. "It’s a fun experience to suddenly find CDs you purchased just today -- or 15 years ago -- added automatically and free of charge to your digital library. We're thrilled to extend this experience to vinyl records."

All AutoRip MP3s -- which are provided in high-quality 256 Kbps audio -- are stored for free in customers’ Cloud Player libraries and do not count against Cloud Player storage limits. The music can be played back on any device such as the Kindle Fire, Android phones and tablets, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Samsung TV, Roku, Sonos, and any web browser.

So why offer digital copies of vinyl records? In fact, why offer vinyl records at all? Because vinyl-based recordings have a special sound that can't be fully emulated in the digital realm. There's still an audience for this raw sound too, although the MP3 versions will likely stem from highly-polished, digitally re-mastered recordings.

"Many of our music customers are vinyl fans and it’s traditionally been very difficult to make digital versions of vinyl records," Boom added. "Now customers can enjoy the albums they buy wherever they are, not just when they have access to a record player."

For more information about AutoRip, head here.

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Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • edogawa
    It's ridiculous to buy a Vinyl only to get it in MP3. That's what I hate about people selling music digitally, they need to offer music in a loseless format such as FLAC, and not MP3.
  • tmshdw
    Just a note, as a vinyl audiophile, on why audiophiles continue to buy vinyl since the article barely speaks to it.

    Vinyl records are a pain in the posterior to maintain. But with a good turntable and high-end audio setup the resolution, immersion, and palpability of music from a record still can't be matched even by loseless digital formats played through the best DACs. I wait for the best digital gear to sound as good or better than my turntable setup. Ain't happened yet but digital continues to improve and is getting close.
  • Nick_C
    @tmshdw: .... but a 16-bit/44.1kHz PCM digital recording of the output of the turntable will be indistinguishable from the audio that it was recorded from.
  • dimar
    My guess is that vinyl would be useful only if the recording was made using analog equipment.
    If a band records using computer/digital equipment, I'd rather have the original/lossless stereo or surround mixdown wave/flac files.
  • WyomingKnott
    "high-quality 256 Kbps audio" is an oxymoron. Unfortunately, we are raising a generation of listeners who really can't tell the difference, or can and prefer the lower-quality sound that they are used to.
  • kittle
    @Nick_C Chances are you wont hear the difference on the el-cheapo crap quality speakers/headphones/earbuds that are so common today. But if played on a high quality audiophile system like tmshdw has (and like I have) - you CAN tell the difference.

    Id love to see what amazon produces for the SACD titles I bought over the past few years
  • Nick_C
    @kittle - so you claim. Can you be sure that you are not simply suffering from justification bias having spent so much on the system? Any testing that is not double blind may suffer from pre-disposition bias from participants.
  • shadowfamicom
    Yeah got an email from them saying I could download the Jimi Hendrix album I bought from them on vinyl. Cool concept, but I would much rather just torrent higher quality files of the albums I already bought for when I need them on the go.