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Talk of the bay

Wal-Mart's make-your-own-CD kiosks prove popular

By MARK ALBRIGHT
Published April 11, 2005


Not everybody today has an MP3 player, much less a computer to download music from the Internet one song at a time.

So Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has seized on the void as a business opportunity with "Entertainment at Hand" kiosks that are being installed in the discount chain's camera departments.

Type in the title of any one of 375,000 songs recorded on 15,000 albums and you can assemble your own CD. The selection is limited to less than 10 percent of all the albums ever made, or a fraction of the songs available from services such as Apple's iTunes.

But within an hour, shoppers can pick up their own custom-made CD album with up to 20 songs. They also can design their own cover art. The price is $4.62 for an album with three songs, then 88 cents per song after that.

"The kiosks have proved to be very popular," said Pat Curran, a Wal-Mart regional vice president.

[Last modified April 9, 2005, 07:10:29]


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