It was a cool service Amazon launched earlier in the year which did something pretty cool: if you bought an AutoRip-compatible CD at any point since 1998, it’ll automatically show up in your Amazon Cloud Player, which can be accessed either online or through the free iTunes app
Pretty neat, and now, AutoRip is even neater: it now works with vinyl records you’ve purchased too. For example, I bought a copy of the excellent album Stranger by Balmorhea on vinyl a couple months ago, and it’s now in my Cloud Player.
This is pretty neat. Vinyl is already one of the more savvy ways to buy music, not just because of the improved sound quality and presentation over digital or CD, but because when you buy a vinyl album, you often get the digital version for free as a download anyway. With AutoRip now working with vinyl, buying a record is an even more compelling way to consume music.
After nearly a decade, my iTunes library weighs in at almost ninety-four gigabytes. A lot of serious music nerds would sneeze derisively at that, but it still represents over 13,000 songs that would take me, from start to finish, a full 48 days to listen to back to back.
I’d be lying if I said most of these had been acquired legally. Most of these albums were acquired on Bittorrent in my twenties. Many more were ripped from CDs lent to me by friends and family, or slurped up from Usenet to satisfy my obscure yet surface-thin musical fixations. Some were purchased through iTunes or other sources online, but truthfully, if you stripped everything out of my iTunes library that I’d acquired legally, I’d probably have a digital music library that could fit on a first generation iPod.
Over the course of the last two years, though, something interesting has happened. I’ve grown a conscience. These days, all of the music I listen to is listened to legally. But iTunes not only has no part in it. In fact, for the past two years, my iTunes library has just been collecting dust: a graveyard to the music piracy of my youth.
I’m ashamed of it. I want to try to explain things. Both why I started pirating music, why I stopped, and how, in fits and starts, being a music pirate helped transform me into someone who cared enough about music to buy it.
If you ever used to play records, you're going to love Vinyl Tap.
There are a few record player simulation apps for the iPad, but attention to detail and awesome graphics may make Vinyl Tap the best. And better still, it comes with not one but two turntables, with more promised in future updates.
Looking to convert your old vinyl to a format your iPod can understand? Sharper Image’s iPod Turntable will help you archive your old LPs to MP3 that your iPod or iPhone can read, no middle-man computer required (although it is an option through USB).