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CD Economics

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To the editors:

I'm not an economics major, either, but perhaps I can be of some help to M. Vogelsburg, who seems bewildered about the price of compact discs [Letters, September 30]. He or she would probably be astonished to learn that while the price of a cantaloupe is anywhere from 50 cents to more than $2 at his neighborhood store, the price of a seed is less than a penny.

Yes, it may cost only $1 to physically transfer the music to a disc (in large quantities). But the recording group, whether it is the CSO or the Grateful Dead, gets paid for its services. Somebody gets paid for the studio and the engineers. Somebody gets paid for the packaging and artwork. Somebody gets paid for distributing and shipping the final product, and media ads publicizing the release are not free. Moreover, someone has to eat the cost of recordings that are produced but never sold.

All of which may be beside the point. If the distributors were only charging $2 for a CD, and Best Buy were selling them for $1.80, Rose Records would still have a problem.

Ed Cohen

W. Chase

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