I have several iPods and am quite happy with buying online music from the iTunes Music Store and a couple of other sites. I haven't bought an actual physical compact disc for at least a year and wasn't planning to buy one ever again.
But, in researching today's article on Seattle's MOD Systems, I headed to the Starbucks in Capitol Hill yesterday to give the company's in-store CD-burning kiosk a try.
That Starbucks had six computer screens equipped with MOD Systems software, and four were being used by people who were browsing through the touch-screens and listening with the accompanying headphones.
The system had lots of recommendations for users. I went right to the search and hunted for the band The The. I found eight albums -- not bad. Then I searched for the band Morcheeba. Nothing. But the system told me that Morcheeba appears on an album by Lyrics Born, which I hadn't heard of before, and after giving it a listen I decided to buy it.
The system on the whole was slow. It took several seconds for a song to play after I selected it, and there was an overall lack of responsiveness. But once I got to the purchase stage it went very smoothly. I swiped my credit card, and the system took several minutes to burn a disk and print out liner notes. I assembled the materials into a nice-looking cardboard CD package and was ready to go.
I left having discovered a cool new band. I purchased - and received - a spanking new CD in minutes for $12. I wish the blackberry green tea frappucino I ordered had been as satisfying, but that's a story for a different day.