Amazon made a splash this morning by announcing that they are now offering MP3s of albums you buy on CD – for free. But the even bigger surprise was that if you had purchased a CD from them going back to 1998(!), and it’s one of the 50,000 albums in their catalog that features AutoRip, they automatically added that album to your Amazon Cloud Player.

It was quite a pleasant surprise to wake up to find about 30 albums added to my Cloud Player, especially the Pearl Jam Twenty soundtrack, which features a number of different artists, which I could never seem to get ripped properly with the right artist names.

Amazon has three videos up on the AutoRip page, including an overview, how to, and a video about Cloud Player.

I don’t know how much (or if) they’re paying the labels for this service, but I love it. I still like my shiny discs, especially from my core favorite artists, and this is a great service to provide (even if it a shrinking business). I buy most of new music on vinyl these days, and since I started collecting vinyl a few years, almost every vinyl album has come with an MP3 download card.

Now I can’t wait for the day I buy a book and can get the ebook…

Via Lifehacker