A simple plan to slash the price of tunes for your iPod

Pack your 'Pod with better than iTunes sound quality songs for a lot less than iTunes prices.

Cut the price of your music Steve Guttenberg

I'm back at my favorite record store and I see a guy approach the owner with a proposition: "I want to buy music to put it on my iPod and then resell the disc to you." Intrigued, I jumped into the conversation, egging the guy on. "That's a great idea. Buy new or used DRM-free CDs, burn 'em to iTunes, and what the hell, burn a CD to keep, and resell the disc." The technique won't be cost effective on every title, but say for example you bought a used copy of Smashing Pumpkins "Zeitgeist" for $8.99, and post ripping sold it back to the store you bought it from for $4.00. Your cost would be $5.00 plus tax. Hmmm, the same music on iTunes goes for $11.99 and will most likely come saddled with DRM, so once the music is on your iPod, you're done. With the CD you're free to do what you want with the tunes, burn a copy for your car, and another copy to play at work. The cost advantages will, in many cases, hold true for brand new CDs as well.

I've already sporadically done the buy, burn, resell deal myself, but the guy clarified the methodology. Then again, I'm not condoning the ethics of the exercise, I like owning discs, I have 3,000 or so, but for you folks who would rather not deal with the clutter, this would be a good way to load your iPod. And if you care about sound quality, you could pack your 'Pod with full CD quality sounds. Apple offers no such alternative, gee, I wonder why.

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