Amazon AutoRip adds free MP3s of your CDs past and present on Thursday announced the launch of AutoRip, a new service that gives customers free MP3 versions of audio CDs they’ve already purchased. The tracks are available for download through Amazon’s Cloud Player service. What’s more, this applies to CDs you’ve bought through Amazon as far back as 1998.

The files are presented in MP3 format, encoded at 256 Kbps. If you’re concerned with your Cloud Player library suddenly being populated over capacity, don’t worry – Amazon says the new files don’t count against Cloud Player storage limits. The new files should be visible immediately the next time you log into your Amazon Cloud Player account.

Not all audio CDs purchased from are eligible for the AutoRip treatment. The company counts the number now in the thousands. A new graphical embellishment is used on catalog pages to signify whether the CD is eligible for AutoRip.

Amazon also used the opportunity to take a swipe at Apple. “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,” the company said in a statement.

[Editor’s note: A quick check of my own Cloud Player account shows hundreds of new tracks in the “recently added” section, including many that for whatever reason, I haven’t ripped to my iTunes library. Nifty!]

  • Tom

    So… this is for actual, physical CDs that you buy at Amazon? Does anybody want a physical CD? I guess for old CDs you purchased at Amazon it’s nice. Can you download and/or import the mp3s into iTunes?

    • Peter Cohen

      Yes, you can download the MP3s.

      Yes, many people still buy music on CDs.

    • Tvaddic

      Yes you can do that, and physical CDs on Amazon are sometimes cheaper than MP3s.

  • Palomides

    I ALWAYS buy real, hold-in-my-hand CDs.

    • Me too. Basically I consider them a physical backup. I checked Cloud Player and about 100 of the CDs I’ve purchased from Amazon over the past 13 years showed up. But since I’m invested in Apple’s ecosystem, AutoRip doesn’t really offer me anything I don’t already have.

      • Right after I wrote that message I got an email from Amazon saying they added 4002 songs to my library. I checked Cloud Player and now there are 345 albums. Pretty impressive, but I still don’t think I’ll do much with it.

  • An interesting response to Apple’s tunes in the cloud for previous iTunes purchases.

  • crateish

    About 20 albums were added to my account. Several of them are incomplete. One seven disc set has only nine tracks available. Cute, but probably only good for Katy Perry albums and the such.