Your Music Dot Com




Since I give the music industry such a hard time when they screw things up (which is most of the time), let me point out when they do something correctly. 

YourMusic Dot Com

What is it? Picture a cross between Netflix with Columbia House Record Club, and you end up with

Interesting business model: Like Netflix, you set up a queue, only its comprised of CDs instead of DVDs. They have a fairly extensive — though by no means comprehensive — list. In fact, is owned by BMG, and the selection is quite similar is to that of BMG record club.

Each month, the next CD in your queue gets mailed to you, for $5.99, including mailing. Thats a very reasonable deal.

That’s right, all CDs are $5.99, and there is no charge for shipping or handling. Even better, the DVD/CD combos are also $5.99, And best of all, any of the many boxed sets are sold for (all together now) $5.99 per disc. From simple 2 disc sets, to all of the Led Zeppelin sets, to most of the Sinatra multi disc sets, to the wonderful and complete Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks (16 CDs!), are all $5.99 per disc. That is a fabulous deal. 

You can always buy any disc from their catalog at any time, independent of the queue. You can add, delete and rearrange the queue at anytime.

The catch is that if you do not have a disc queued up, you get billed $5.99 anyway. When I set mine up, I added 57 CDs, so I won’t have that problem until 2010.

They have a decent collection of Jazz (Sinatra, Ella, Armstrong, Coltrane, Miles,) — again, nothing exhaustive, but good starters and fill ins. Same for rock and pop.

I suspect that some of the A-list newer releases are’nt available for very long. The Best of Sheryl Crow disappeared, and so I moved Modest Mouse’s Good News For People Who Love Bad News up to the front of the queue.

So far, I recieved my first CD — came on time, and I was charged $5.99 (plus tax).

This looks promising,for those of us who like our digital music in a higher fidelity than MP3 or AAC . . .


Category: Finance, Music

Bloomberg UK Appearance (January 18, 2005)

Category: Media

Reasons to be Cheerful

Category: Markets

Chart of the Day: Oil & Gas Index

Category: Markets

Winter Hits Hard Spiking Oil

Category: Commodities, Markets

Ed Jones: Worse than you thought . . .

Last month, Jim Cramer ripped Edward Jones a new one; While I agreed with what he said, I didn’t bother to follow up because I assumed Ed Jones had come clean.

Apparently not.

From today’s WSJ:

"Edward D. Jones & Co. received $82.4 million in secret payments from seven mutual-fund firms in the first 11 months of 2004, through a lopsided fee structure that in some cases gave the brokerage firm more compensation for selling poorly performing funds than for selling stellar performers.

The disclosures were posted yesterday, on Jones’s Web site as required by its $75 million agreement to settle regulatory charges that it failed to adequately disclose the payments to investors. They are by far the most detailed figures ever made public on the industry practice of mutual-fund companies paying brokerage firms to induce them to sell their products, an arrangement known as revenue sharing. Unlike front-end sales commissions, which are widely disclosed to consumers, revenue sharing has been largely secret."

That’s pretty egregious behavior. I used to think well of Edward Jones as a firm. Non mas. . .


Here’s Cramer’s comments:

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Category: Markets, Trading

Apple aiming for the sweetspot ?

Since we’ve been discussing the impact of Apple lately, I thought it worthwhile to point to a graphic depiction of Apple’s marketing strategy, as conceived by future Wired comtributor Paul Nixon.

I’m not sure I agree with Paul’s statement that "until January 2005,
Apple had no iPod that served the mass market
" givent he enormous sales
numbers the Pod has rung up. But the broader point of targeting the new devices
at truly mass entry level (i.e., cheap) is valid.

click for larger graphic


Check out the full size graph here:

Nice work, Paul

Apple’s Tipping Point: Macs for the Masses
Paul Nixon
Nixlog, January 12, 2005

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Category: Finance, Web/Tech

Mistakes Traders Make

Alan Farley is a colleague at Real Money. He posted a terrific list of mental errors that traders sometimes make.

Its worth perusing:

Fighting Mr. Market. There’s nothing worse than trading a trend in a choppy market or sideways choppiness in a trending market. Make sure you know which one you’re jumping into before hitting the enter button.

Loving the bad. It’s hard to admit it when we’re wrong. Rather than cutting losses, we try desperately to transform our worst trades from lemons into lemonade. Sooner or later we find out how easy it is to turn a small loss into an absolute disaster.

Hating the good. Sometimes we know it’s a great trade, but only at the subconscious level. For some reason, we can’t handle our good fortune and jump out with a small profit. Minutes later it takes off like a rocket ship without us on board.

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Category: Investing

iPod shuffle = new radio ?

Category: Finance, Music

New Column up at Real Money (01/13/05)

Category: Media