Whether you currently purchase CDs through Amazon, or you ever did at any point since 1998, Amazon's AutoRip feature certainly has its benefits. For one thing, those of us who maybe didn't take the best care of the CDs we bought from Amazon, or who've lost them over the years have access to digital versions of some of the albums we paid for more than a decade ago. And for another, it's an incentive to purchase the CD version of an album now. If it's AutoRip compatible, Amazon will give you the digital version "free" with purchase in your Cloud player. And from there, you're free to stream it or download it and put it in iTunes or upload it to your mp3 player. It's convenient, and given the already low price of music at Amazon, it makes the online site a bit more enticing than say, iTunes or some other online music store.

I'm holding out hope that Amazon will someday offer this feature for DVD/Blu-ray purchases. On occasion the site will offer a digital copy or rental with purchase, but as someone who's probably purchased most of her DVD/Blu-ray collection from Amazon, it would be a dream come true to have digital copies of all those films. While that may or may not be a realistic dream, it does look like Amazon's branching out on the music side, as they've expanded their AutoRip feature to include vinyl purchases.

Yes, people still buy records. Some prefer them, in fact. And now those record-loving consumers can benefit from the AutoRip feature. Eligible albums will include a free MP3 version with purchase.

I'm assuming that - like the CD AutoRip - the option applies to past purchases, but I haven't ever purchased a record from Amazon, so I can't verify that it does, and I haven't seen it confirmed on Amazon. If that's the case though, it's a great added incentive for loyal customers.

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