I’m not going to lie, folks — I’ve pirated my share of music in my time. Probably more than my share. Napster, Kazaa, The Pirate Bay — you name a service, I’ve probably used it to download an album before. BUT! I also try to be pretty good about supporting artists and small labels by actually purchasing those tunes as well, and when I do, vinyl is my format of choice. And as of this morning, Amazon is doing me a big fat solid and extending their popular AutoRip program — which offers folks who have bought CDs through Amazon a free digital copy of the album — to vinyl records.
The service will apply to thousands of records, and even more importantly, it will be retroactive all the way back to 1998, meaning that any vinyl you’ve bought from the online retailer in the last decade and a half will be eligible. For record dorks who appreciate the warm, organic sound of a vinyl record (yeah, I know I sound like a goofball, but it’s true) this is especially good news for getting copies of their music. While copying a CD to hard drive is so easy that your computer likely does it for you automatically, getting songs from vinyl onto a digital backup is a tedious process requiring specialized equipment, so having an automatic copy that you can listen to on the go without jumping through a lot of hoops — or yes, just downloading a copy from any one of a billion equally convenient sites — is a pretty major boon
Granted, if you’re like me, a lot of the vinyl you bought hasn’t been through Amazon, but from smaller retailers or directly from record labels, most of which have the courtesy and good sense to already offer downloads with your purchase. Still, it’s heartening to see Amazon supporting a niche market and doing the right thing, even if it is only because the right thing is totally common sense and very easy to do.
- This cat gets wild on the turntables
- Holy crap, this cache of old LPs on a military base is amazing
- Sword & Sworcery got a swanky EP of its own, because Superbrothers knows what’s up