Starbucks Offering Customised CDs

Always keen to develop the Starbucks experience, the Seattle-based coffee house has partnered with Hewlett-Packard to give customers an innovative music product – personalised CDs burned to order.

We’ve all seen services offering tailor-made CDs before, where this service is different is in the customer interface. This one uses HP tablet PCs (and thankfully, headphones) so that punters can chose can choose from 250,000 licensed tracks and have a CD or two made up for them from their selection.

This could finally be a success for custom CDs – many initiatives in the past have failed because customers don’t really like standing in front of a kiosk for half an hour choosing tracks from a limited selection. Lounging around in a well-worn sofa drinking coffee and picking favourites from a library of a quarter of a million tunes is much more appealing.

A further benefit will be that customers to Starbucks will get more exposure to legal downloads and may be tempted to try similar services such as iTunes when they get home.

The service will be available in selected US branches from 16th March – if any DigLif readers get a chance to try it out, please drop us an email and let us know how you found it.

Business Week

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?