The firm behind a new music Web site is hoping to lure fans looking to swap their used, album-length CDs for the price it typically costs to buy a digital single.
The Web site, lala.com, allows members to list which CDs they wish to put up for trade and then use a search engine to browse for album titles being offered by other members.
Unlike eBay or other trading sites where computer users bid on goods and then arrange payment and shipping themselves, buyers on lala.com always pay $1 plus 49 cents for shipping.
Palo Alto-based la la media, which runs the Web site, sends prepaid envelopes for the site's users to mail their CDs.
The site also sells new CDs and digital album downloads at retail prices, in case someone on the Web site isn't offering a particular album.
The company began testing the site in November with select users. Prior to this week, it had 250 members trading some 12,000 CDs out of a catalog of 1.8 million album titles, said co-founder Bill Nguyen.
On Tuesday, the company expanded access to the site to people who are referred by existing members. It plans a full launch this summer.