April is upon us, and apparently the unusually mild spring weather in the Pacific Northwest has the folks at Amazon feeling rather charitable. Anyone want free music? Well, you’re in luck because Amazon has decided to expand its recently-launched AutoRip service to include any records you may have purchased from the site going all the way back to 1998. Vinyl sales have experienced five straight years of growth, so we think its’ pretty cool that Amazon has decided to include those of us who still spin vinyl in the program.
The service, which launched barely four months ago, is remarkably simple. If you purchased a CD from Amazon over the past 15 years, then the company would place an MP3 version of that album in your Amazon Cloud Player. Want to download the MP3 and put it on your portable media player ? No problem. And now the same goes for Vinyl.
So, why would Amazon do this? Perhaps the better question is: Why not? Amazon already has the MP3 files stockpiled for independent purchase. By giving customers free digital copies of the physical media they intend to buy anyway, Amazon gives consumers a reason to buy from its site instead of a competitor’s. Additionally, it might stoke interest in the use of its Cloud Player, potentially leading to expanded Cloud storage sales. And as we all know, once you start getting into an ecosystem, it’s hard to pull out. Next thing you know, folks are buying Prime memberships and streaming from Amazon’s Instant Video service. Perhaps this move isn’t just a product of Amazon feeling charitable after all.
Amazon’s Cloud Player works on your Kindle Fire HD tablet, iOS device, Android smartphone or tablet, Roku box or pretty much any other smart device with access to Amazon’s Cloud Player app. Amazon’s MP3 downloads are 256Kbps copies and do not count against your free storage space.
A quick look through Amazon’s library of vinyl reveals that AutoRip will automatically apply to thousands of records, which gives it instant appeal as a shopping destination.
“We’re thrilled to extend this experience to vinyl records,” said Steve Boom, vice president of Digital Music for Amazon in a release this morning. ”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.”
Amazon has not confirmed how many CDs and records AutoRip supports, but with more than 50,000 albums already available, there is plenty of content to attract consumers for the time being.
image via Dusan Jankovic/Shutterstock