Here's something cool, at least sort of. Amazon is introducing a new AutoRip service, which provides MP3 versions of selected CDs you purchase. Look for the blue/green AutoRip icon on new CD product pages; as soon as you purchase the CD, you also have access to MP3 versions of all the tracks, at no extra charge. These MP3 tracks are automatically added to your Amazon Cloud Player library, and can then be downloaded to your computer. The AutoRip tracks don't count towards your Cloud Player storage limits, either.
Even better, if you've purchased any CD from Amazno currently identified as AutoRip anytime in the past 15 years (since 1998), you get MP3 versions of those CDs for free, too. Kind of cool -- an added feature for past purchases. Good job, Amazon!
On the downside, we are are talking about MP3 files here, not lossless AAC or WMA. They're ripped at 256Kbps, which isn't horrible but could be better. And not every CD available has AutoRip capability; at present, only 50,000 CDs are available with AutoRip.
Still and all, a very nice way to build your digital library while still purchasing physical CDs. Learn more about AutoRip here.