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Free MP3 files with CD and vinyl purchases: Amazon brings AutoRip to UK

Retail behemoth Amazon has announced it is bringing its AutoRip download feature to the UK, giving customers a free MP3 version of music they buy on CD and vinyl.

Starting today, the rollout also enables users to retrieve digital versions of every physical music purchase they have made from Amazon’s music store since it opened in 1999 – provided it is one of the 350,000 licensed albums.

As soon as a CD or vinyl disc with AutoRip capability is purchased, the MP3 version arrives in the user’s Amazon Cloud Player account as a 256Kbps file ready for download, or alternatively it can be streamed to iOS and Android devices, plus Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets.

The customer thus has access to their music instantly, without having to wait for their purchase to arrive in the post.

“What would you say if you bought CDs, vinyl or even cassettes from a company 14 years ago, and then 14 years later that company licensed the rights from the record companies to give you the MP3 versions of those albums… and then to top it off, did that for you automatically and for free?,” asks Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

“Well, starting today, it's available to all of our customers – past, present, and future – at no cost.”

It seems Bezos’s firm is a little more charitable to its UK customers than it is to the British taxman.