Amazon has launched a new service called AutoRip this week. AutoRip gives customers free MP3 versions of CDs, available through the Amazon Cloud Player, that they've purchased anytime since 1998. What's more is that customers who purchase any AutoRip eligible CD from here on out will receive their digital copy on the Amazon Cloud Player before the actual, physical CD arrives at their doorstep.
Truly, I am surprised at how excited everyone has gotten over this. It's little more than an attempt to lock customers into their CloudPlayer service and keep them in the Kindle architecture while looking like they are giving customers something for free. I am surprised that enough people buy physical CDs from an online store to merit the demand for this service. Further, I'm surprised that people haven't already ripped the music they purchased on their own by now. It's not like Amazon AutoRip is performing a difficult service, as ripping a CD takes little effort.
Unless you own a Kindle Fire, I don't even get why you would want to use Cloudplayer rather than Google Music. That's not to say that it's a bad thing that AutoRip exists. I suppose that AutoRip has benefits for folks who were already using the Amazon Cloud Player. I think that when most of us were ripping CDs 15 years ago, we were ripping them in comparatively crappy quality (128kbps) and Amazon AutoRip gives you much better quality rips.
Really, though, it would be nice if Amazon could AutoRip books to your library as well. These days, even if I want a physical book for my collection, I would still prefer to read the digital copy in most instances. If Amazon would AutoRip books, I would actually consider buying a Kindle.