You'll certainly know that Amazon not only sells lots of Chuck Berry CDs and some vinyl, but also offers almost all Chuck Berry recordings as MP3 downloads. This site's Listen-to-it function makes use of these offers by presenting audio samples of most Berry recordings. Here's for example Amazon's selection for Wee Wee Hours
. Amazon has roughly 14.000 MP3 tagged with Chuck Berry one way or the other.
MP3s at Amazon usually cost 99 cents per song. If you get them from other legal
sources, prices are roughly the same. If we assume that Chuck Berry and his publishers get a share of this, that's not a bad deal.
The only other and cheaper way to legally get your favorite Berry recordings for use in MP3 players is to buy the corresponding record or CD and to convert the contents into digital MP3 files. This is done by a process called 'Ripping' and despite its name, this is perfectly legal as long as you keep the MP3 files for your private use.
But did you know that Amazon also provides you with all these MP3s for free
? I didn't and was astonished to learn about it when I received an email from Amazon a few weeks ago.
The feature offered Amazon calls "AutoRip" and this is what they do: They automatically rip CDs into MP3 files. If you buy a CD tagged as "AutoRip" (and many Berry CDs are), they automatically and for free create MP3s of all songs contained. You can then import these MP3s into your Amazon Cloud Player (which every Amazon client has). From here you can listen to the songs or download them for use with your MP3 player Unless your cloud player contains more than 250 songs, this complete process is free of charge for you.
If you recently (i.e. within the last years) bought a CD which has now been AutoRip'ed, you will receive an email from Amazon announcing that these songs have been imported into your cloud player automatically. In my case this was the "In the 50s" 3-CD set I wrote about in March
. The price for this set is now 40 cents higher than in March, but it includes MP3s of all 70 songs. No need to rip them any more.