Amazon launches AutoRip, offering users free digital versions of physical music they’ve bought

amazon launches autorip offering users free digital versions of physical music theyve boughtFor years, people have wished that there would be a way for all of the music that they’d purchased on CD, vinyl, or even cassette tape to be magically available as as digital files without any effort or additional cost required. Now, such a reality has come to pass – but, of course, there’s a catch: In order to get a free MP3 of music that you already own a physical copy of, you have to have bought it through Amazon.

This is because Amazon has announced a new service called Amazon AutoRip, that will automatically make MP3 versions of CDs purchased through the company available to customers at no additional cost. Additionally, albums purchased through Amazon’s Music Store since 1998 will be retroactively AutoRipped and made available to customers via their Cloud Player library, with “more than 50,000 albums, including titles from every major record label” already available, and more being added on a regular basis.

Talking about the new feature, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos asked “What would you say if you bought music CDs from a company 15 years ago, and then 15 years later that company licensed the rights from the record companies to give you the MP3 versions of those CDs… and then to top it off, did that for you automatically and for free? Well, starting today, it’s available to all of our customers – past, present, and future – at no cost. We love these opportunities to do something unexpected for our customers.”

According to the company’s announcement, AutoRip will include not only the free digital copies of physical music purchased through Amazon over the last 15 years, but it will also be stored in the customers’ cloud library, but won’t be counted against their Cloud Player storage limits. The library of titles is still expanding, but some albums already available  include such well-known titles as Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, as well as more recent albums such as Adele’s omnipresent 21 and Green Day’s hat-trick of Uno!, Dos! and Tre!.

For the cynical out there wondering just what Amazon gets out of this beyond the knowledge of giving something back to its customers, there’s one telling line of the company’s press release announcing the new service: “In many cases, customers can buy an AutoRip CD, including the free digital copy, for less than they would pay for only the digital album at iTunes.” In other words, take that, Apple! You just sell things digitally and for more money than Amazon!

Regardless of the motives, if you were still interested in buying new music in CD format, this is a particularly good deal and may be the kind of thing that lures newcomers to Amazon’s Cloud Player for the first time. Let’s call it a win-win all ’round, then.

Home Theater

Pandora takes aim at Spotify’s Release Radar with smart playlist The Drop

Pandora is debuting its own answer to Spotify’s Release Radar in the form of The Drop, a weekly personalized playlist for Premium subscribers full of new music based on what they already love.
Music

The best new music this week: Prince, Brockhampton, Mountain Man, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases. On tap this week: Prince, Richard Swift, Christine and the Queens, Brockhampton, and Mountain Man.
Home Theater

Want to save your favorite film? Here's how to fix a scratched DVD or CD

A scratched edition of your favorite DVD is no good, but our guide will show you how to fix a scratched DVD, whether you prefer to repair it using a smattering of peanut butter or Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime Now: Here's exactly what it can do for you

Amazon Prime Now offers delivery of your purchased goods in just two hours. That means you get the convenience of online shopping coupled with the instant gratification of in-store purchases.
Emerging Tech

Harvard’s soft robotic exosuit adapts itself to the needs of every wearer

Harvard engineers have developed a new multi-joint, textile-based soft robotic exosuit, designed to help soldiers, firefighters, and other rescue workers. Here's what makes it so exciting.
Emerging Tech

These flying cars want to take your commute to new heights

The future is closer than you'd think: Companies around the world are working on flying car models, with many successful tests! Here are all the flying cars and taxis currently in development, and how they work!
Computing

Tap Strap wearable keyboard gains support for VR applications

TAP System's wearable keyboard gains support for virtual reality, now compatible with Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, and HTV headsets. Type and tap for up to eight hours in VR without needing to look at a physical keyboard.
Emerging Tech

Robot jellyfish could be used to patrol fragile coral reefs

Could schools of robotic jellyfish soon be patrolling the world’s oceans, monitoring fragile environments such as coral reefs? A team of United States researchers certainly thinks so.
Emerging Tech

Versatile robotic skin gives stuffed horse, other inanimate objects some giddyup

Researchers at Yale University have developed a new sensor-packed robot skin that can be wrapped around inanimate objects, such as toys, to transform them into functioning robots.
Emerging Tech

JackRabbot 2 is Stanford’s friendly new campus-roaming social robot

JackRabbot 2 is a robot developed by researchers at Stanford University -- designed to navigate around the campus, while carrying out friendly interactions with the humans around it.
Emerging Tech

New sustainable plan to mitigate climate change involves… a hot dog cooker?

Chemists have demonstrated a new, energy-efficient method of pulling carbon dioxide directly from the air. The secret ingredients? An air humidifier and a solar-powered hot dog cooker.
Emerging Tech

Removing ‘zombie cells’ in the brain could help battle the effects of dementia

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have demonstrated how the removal of so-called "zombie cells" can help reverse the effects of dementia-style cognitive decline in mice. Here's what they did.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s planet hunter satellite gets first hit in its search for another Earth

NASA's planet hunter satellite TESS has discovered a new Earth-like planet. At only 62 light-years distant, the new find is much closer than the Kepler Mission's 2015 exoplanet discovery -- that one was 155 light-years distant.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.