Wed 3 May 2006
Recently I've been using a really neat new service called 'la la.' In a nutshell, la la provides the infrastructure so that you can trade away CDs you don't want, and for $1.49 per CD get a different CD that you do want. Basically you just make two lists – CDs you have and CDs you want. When a CD you have is on someone else's want list, you send it to them with a plastic sleeve and envelope (postage paid!) provided by la la. That entitles you to a receive a CD off of your want list. The catch is that you don't get to decide which one. I assume it just registers that you're due a CD, and then the first person who ponies up any of the CDs on your list sends it to you.
So, la la is great. I love it – simple, well executed idea. Ryan complained about their lousy metadata, but I have to say for the music I listen to, it's not a problem. And I have a TON of old CDs I'm ecstatic to get rid of. Ace of Base for Count Basie? You bet! I can't figure out how they make money on the deal though – the margin for each transaction, after all the overhead (including postage) must be small. But I guess even a small margin tens of thousands of times will net you a tidy profit.
However, here's my itch, and I hope someone scratches it. There absolutely needs to be a la la notifier. The basic problem is that unless I log in all the time to see what CDs I have that others want, I miss the chance to trade a lot of CDs. People who can afford to spend all day on la la can do more trading than I can because they watch their list all the time and pounce on new arrivals before I ever see them. I'm sure tons of opportunities to trade CDs come and go during the day in between times when I log on. There should be a small, unobtrusive tray icon to let me know when someone requests a CD I have. Or is there already and I haven't seen it?