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ARSCLIST  August 2011

ARSCLIST August 2011

Subject:

Article in YESTERDAY's WSJ on CD Ripping service

From:

Steve Ramm <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 28 Aug 2011 09:06:02 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (91 lines)

Thought worth sharing:
   
Sending Your Discs to Cloud Heaven 
What to do with the hundreds of CDs collecting dust in your  attic? A new 
service can rip, store and sell them 
 
    *   

By _KEVIN SINTUMUANG_ 
(http://online.wsj.com/search/term.html?KEYWORDS=KEVIN+SINTUMUANG&bylinesearch=true)  

 
 
 
 
 
It was hard. Not painful. But difficult enough that it took a few hours to  
wade through the nostalgia (I remember the day I got this Belle & Sebastian 
 record!) and bad taste (I own a Dave Matthews album?) living in just one 
box of  many in my closet. I don't think I'm emotionally prepared for the 
crates in my  parents' attic. Somewhere up there lurks a Vanilla Ice CD. 
 
 
Harry Campbell for The Wall Street Journal 


Yes, as my now wife and then girlfriend had been telling me since the iPod  
first got a color screen—remember that? How quaint!—it was time get rid of 
the  CDs. 
It's not like we got cheated. Thousands of songs in my pocket instead of  
hundreds of jewel cases in an IKEA Benno tower? You'd have to really love  
particle-board furniture not to sign up for the digital music revolution. I've 
 been a member since the iPod had a scroll wheel that moved—remember that? 
How  quaint!—and, for the most part, I've been happy. Only people who grew 
up in the  '70s think liner notes were cool. Maybe it was the, erm, hazy 
sense of reality.  Does it smell funny in here? 
I guess I've been holding on to CDs because I'm still used to the idea of  
physically owning the music I listen to rather than simply buying the rights 
to  hear it. (Read those terms of agreement: You don't really own most of 
the songs  you purchase online.) And there's also the nerdy future-proofing 
rationale: What  if I want to reconvert my CDs into a superior, 
not-yet-invented digital audio  format that my holographic iPhone 16 can beam into my 
cerebral cortex? 
Then I learned about Murfie (murfie.com), a new business that aims  to 
relieve any music-owning/future-proofing anxieties that you may have so your  
home doesn't look like a special audiophile edition of "Hoarders." Here's what 
 it does: For $24 a year, it will rip all of your CDs, converting them into 
a  variety of iPod and computer-friendly formats including MP3, AAC and 
FLAC.  There's no limit. It even mails you boxes, tape and preprinted UPS 
labels. And  unlike a traditional CD-ripping service, the discs don't get 
returned unless you  really want the clutter again; Murfie lets you sell or trade 
your music on its  website. Don't want to? For an additional $12 annually 
(the first year is free)  it will store up to 1,000 discs.  
Twenty-four dollars to rip hundreds, even thousands of CDs? It sounds too  
good to be true. There are, of course, some catches. You have to download 
each  CD individually as zip files, and because the actual disc is being 
ripped at  Murfie's HQ, it can take up to an hour for the transaction to be 
prepared. (Grab  a coffee, they'll shoot you an email.) And after you do so, you 
can't resell or  trade the CD for 30 days—Murfie says that this is to 
prevent abuse of the  service. It's inconvenient if you want thousands of albums 
instantly, but a few  dozen at a time at your leisure? The process isn't that 
big of a deal. It will  get better soon: Murfie is working on agreements 
with music locker services to  allow users to transfer tracks directly to a 
cloud account.  
Why the CD-ripping fire sale? It's the carrot on the stick. Murfie wants to 
 become the Internet's largest used-CD emporium. (It takes a 30% cut.) As a 
 used-CD store, they are unique in that buyers don't need to wait for a 
disc in  the mail—the music can be downloaded. And because these are used-CDs 
you're  buying, the prices are lower than normal. An example: I found John 
Coltrane's  "Giant Steps" for $4 ($3 for the CD plus $1 for the rip and 
download) on Murfie.  It's $8 on iTunes. Sure, if you want the disc, they'll send 
it, but why would  you? Just have them store it. Or resell it after 30 days 
and spread the  love. 
What Murfie offers is a relatively painless way to wean yourself off of  
plastic discs—used-record stores are really picky about what they'll buy—and 
get  a head start on hopping on the cloud. Over the next few months, I'll 
start  whittling away my collection one box at a time. And then, finally, I'll 
have the  room to build a collection of vintage '70s vinyl. I hear they 
knew how to do  liner notes back then. Does it smell funny in  here?


 

 
Copyright 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights  Reserved




 

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