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INTERNET MUSIC SWAP GOES OLD SCHOOL

SwapIt.com To Offer Online Exchange Of CDs, Not Digital Files But CDs—Really
All that's missing is the trunk of the Nova and the 60-year-old lady in the tube top carrying a Chihuahua.

Because swapping digital files seems "mysterious" and "new" and "scary," two former Ziff Davis execs have launched SwapIt.com, a CD exchange Web site.

Consumers interested in SwapIt's service can send used CDs to the company's Maynard, MA, home base and receive "SwapIt Bucks," which can then be used to pay for discs they select from SwapIt's catalog. Disc prices vary from artist to artist, ranging roughly from $2 (for something like "A George ‘Goober' Lindsey Christmas") to $12.50 (for something like "A George ‘Goober' Lindsey Chanukah"). There is a $2 transaction fee.

SwapIt was started by Kevin Wells and Howard Schneider, who founded the e-commerce site NetBuyer for Ziff Davis' ZDNet and serve as the site's chairman/chief marketing officer and president, respectively. Also on the board is VP of Business Development Kristin Lieb, who formerly held that same position at Atomic Pop. The company received its first round of venture funding from a group led by NetValue Holdings.

"Basically, we couldn't figure out that whole MP3 technology thingy, so we just decided to swap the CDs themselves," said Wells. "It's much easier, less technical, and therefore not as scary to me."

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