Used CD trading site – la la

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I recently received a beta invitation to la la, a used CD trading site. From their site:

Once you decide to start trading, you only pay for CDs received from your Want List. There are no hidden costs or monthly fees. Every CD you receive costs only $1 plus a standard shipping charge of $0.49. The number of CDs you receive will depend on how many CDs you ship to other members.

La la seems to be a good corporate citizen encouraging people to delete any ripped music before sending a CD to someone else. Additionally, they are donating 20% of the trading fees back to the artist. Bill Nguyen states on their site

..the first to advocate that artists should make a lot more from each CD. ‘la la’ is taking the unprecedented action of giving artists 20% of our revenues from used CDs, no used record store or online site does this today.

I really do enjoy listening to high quality music so I have high hopes for the service. Although I’ve yet to send or receive a CD, here are my initial thoughts:

Likes:

  • Interface is done with lots of slick AJAX – the functional type I like. No slow page refresh to get the CD track lists, just mouse over the CD image.
  • Search forms are populated with artists, titles, etc. as you type (a la Google Suggest). A nice change from the the slow search results at most music sites.
  • Adding CDs to your “Have” or “Want” list is likewise easy and fast with AJAX

Dislikes:

  • Streaming samples are ASF format. Since I use a combination of Windows and Linux on my desktops, my Linux box doesn’t play the ASF format (I suppose I could install the codec but I’d rather not waste the time). I’d love to see Flash utilized instead to make it more cross platform compatible and to avoid opening an additional window. I suspect they are using a third party for these streams and they don’t have an option as to the format.
  • Somewhat time consuming to add the titles you have. This is no fault of la la but I wish there were a better way. I wish all my CDs had RFID and I could just wave a magical want over my collection.

All and all, an interesting site and well executed. Those are my thoughts for now. I’ll post an update once I have some more time with the interface and actually trade some CDs.