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Small music stores are crippled by overhead problems - paying for a large consumer-friendly space and keeping inventory of a bunch of CDs. They are outcompeted by the Walmarts and big chains who have economies of scale, and on-line retailers who can keep their stocks in very low-rent areas.
Looverhead (short for low-overhead) is a tiny storefront. It contains a computer, color printer and a few listening booths. The beauty of the Looverhead concept: CDs are burned only as needed. Looverhead has agreements with many record labels. If a customer wants a disc, it is legally downloaded from the music company site and burned on the spot. The printer is used to print up the liner notes etc. The customer walks away with a legal disc, on the spot.
Use of space is minimized, and Looverhead franchises can be placed anywhere there is customer traffic - even in little kiosks. One might argue that this service could be provided directly from the music company. However I think there are many more people who listen to CDs than there are people with the tech savvy to connect, pay, burn etc. In addition, as a central broker for many companies, customers can avoid negotiating multiple different websites.
Burn CDs at Starbuck's
Looks like they do full albums and custom compilations [half, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]
||I like this idea. It saves the cost of shipping for the record companies, so maybe CDs can be cheaper?
||Sort of like the thing Starbucks is doing, only for entire albums? (I think they're doing individual downloaded songs, not sure, don't drink coffee)
||Modern CD-Rs still have a much shorter shelf life than regular CDs. Going by brand doesn't always help - the same brand may be manufactured at 2, 3 different sites and end up with totally different quality between two different cases of CD-Rs. Quality control issues would be very problematic...