Consumers trying to wean themselves away from CDs may be interested in Murfie, a music marketplace startup that combines a ripping service with storage, sales and trades of collected discs.
Murfie is making a push for new business after a quiet launch late last year. Company co-founders Matthew Younkle and Preston Austin now declare it’s ready to grow into “the world’s largest and most ecological new and used CD store” as it removes the CD “clutter” from people’s homes.
“Our test marketing initiative is validation that the music-buying public is eager to embrace the creativity of the Murfie business model, which focuses on consumers’ rights to buy, sell, trade or give away music that is ripped from their new and used CDs – CDs that are stored in Murfie’s secure, climate-controlled central warehouse,” said Younkle.
Customers physically mail their CDs to Murfie, which then rips them into the customer’s choice of digital formats including mp3, AAC, FLAC and Apple Lossless and sends them back as individual .zip files. What makes this legal is that Murfie rips the actual physical product, and then it stores that original CD in its secure warehouse. Murfie is still counting on consumer honesty to keep the rest of its service legal, however. Users can use Murfie to sell, trade or buy their CDs, and the company trusts its customers to obey its terms of service and “delete any copies of music made from that CD while you owned it.”
Members can ship CDs to Murfie for free, and those who complete at least ten transactions a year can store up to 1,000 CDs for free. The company charges $1 to rip each CD, $12 to store CDs for less active users, and a 30 percent commission on sales.
Some aspects of Murfie will remind digital music veterans of the early days of Lala, an online music service founder Bill Nguyen sold to Apple for more than $80 million in 2009, but Murfie’s business is based on CD sales rather than on creating a music service.
It’s all a far cry from 2002, when then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner cited Apple’s “Rip,Mix, Burn” 2001 ad campaign for iTunes as evidence that the tech industry was promoting piracy to boost computer sales.
Badger Herald – http://tinyurl.com/3lgdv9m
Wall Street Journal – http://tinyurl.com/3pxqdt3
Photo by flickr user Kim_Scarborough, used under Creative Commons license