Amazon's AutoRip functionality which gives you a free digital copy of any CD you might buy, has now been extended to vinyl.
If you opt for an AutoRip-compatible vinyl record on Amazon, a digital file will instantly be added to your Amazon Cloud Player library. More impressive is that those who have purchased AutoRip compatible records since Amazon opened the gates to its music store in 1998 will find they now have a digital file waiting in their Cloud Player. All you need to do is look out for the AutoRip logo next to the record on Amazon's website.
“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," said Steve Boom, Amazon's vice-president of digital music. "Many of our music customers are vinyl fans and it’s traditionally been very difficult to make digital versions of vinyl records - now customers can enjoy the albums they buy wherever they are, not just when they have access to a record player.”
AutoRip MP3s are stored instantly in Cloud Player libraries and have no impact on the storage limit of your Cloud Player. The music is uploaded in 256Kbps MP3 format files, which is a good high-quality format. Expect them to sound fairly different from the rich analogue sound of vinyl, however.
On top of AutoRip, Cloud Player users also benefit from a scan and match service. Importing tracks from iTunes or other music players to your Cloud Player will automatically grant you a 256 Kbps version from Amazon.
We are chasing Amazon on whether the AutoRip function applies to vinyl sales in the UK and not just the US. Right now, AutoRip for CDs is a US only affair, so don't hold your breath.