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Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

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w0067814's picture
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Hi All,

I want to discuss professional CD ripping services. There are several companies based in the UK, and they all offer similar services with prices typically around £1 per disc, though a few are slightly cheaper.

I would like to know what people here think of these companies and in particular the cost of the service. Are the prices attractive in your oppinion, or should the per disc cost be lower? If so, at what price would the service become attractive to you?

I imagine that many (if not most) of the people on this forum are quite technical and would rip their collection themselves, but there are plenty of people who are either not technical, have very large collections (so can't face weeks of ripping in the evenings) or simply dont have time themselves.

PodServe claim to be the biggest ripping company in the UK, with 6 machines concurrently ripping. They charge out at £1 per disc.

I think there is space for a competing company who are a bit keener on price whilst maintaining the highest degree of accuracy. What do you think?

Thanks

-Tim

professorhat's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

Agree, £1 per disc is way more than I would consider spending - that would have been £300 for my collection for something I can easily do in my spare time. If someone had said £30 for the collection, I might have thought about it (but I'm not sure what sort of profit margins they have so no idea if this is even feasible). I guess it also depends how fast they are - they say a week for up to a 1,000 CDs at PodServe.

Surely there's room here for sliding scales i.e. 1 to 10 costs £1 per CD, 10 - 100 costs £0.90 per CD etc. etc.? Plus make the data grooming service optional as I guess that's where a lot of the cost goes?

 

cheeseboy's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

a quid a disc, EDITED, I'm in the wrong business.  <runs off to make a similar company>

 

In fariness you don't need to be technical if you use something like itunes, so it's just a time factor.  Given it takes about 5 mins max to rip and compress + time to change the disc, that's working out at about 10 quid an hour.

 

be cheaper to hire somebody to do it for you - as in get a monkey to come to your house and press a button, change discs.  Plus I would imagine it's a lot cheaper than shipping off ones cd collection and the risks that involves...

 

Just my 2p's worth though.

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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

Every time you fancy listening to a CD, spend 5 minutes ripping it first then play the new file instead.

Eventually all your favourites will be done and you won't notice the extra few minutes each time.

Make sure you back up your music library regularly to an external HD.

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w0067814's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

professorhat wrote:

Agree, £1 per disc is way more than I would consider spending - that would have been £300 for my collection for something I can easily do in my spare time. If someone had said £30 for the collection, I might have thought about it (but I'm not sure what sort of profit margins they have so no idea if this is even feasible). I guess it also depends how fast they are - they say a week for up to a 1,000 CDs at PodServe.

Surely there's room here for sliding scales i.e. 1 to 10 costs £1 per CD, 10 - 100 costs £0.90 per CD etc. etc.? Plus make the data groomingservice optional as I guess that's where a lot of the cost goes?

 

Yes it is the data grooming that contributes a lot to the cost. I think the people who would be looking to pay for a service shall expect high quality tags. I know that I am quite anal about my tags, and freedb / Musicbrainz etc just don't cut it. £30 for 300 CDs (10p disc) is unrealistic. Even with a robot handling 60 CDs per hour, that it only £6 per hour revenue - ie before costs.

High quality tagging and album art relies on paid for databases. This can contribute as much as 15p disc to the base cost. Then you have to add in the capital cost and running costs of robots, computers and postage etc.

--

Thanks for the suggestions of how to tip music as you listen, but what I am really after is the cost at which you would be tempted to use a professional service rather than do it yourself. I understand that many people have collections of under 200 CDs, and they are less likely to use a service, but I think there are people with large collections who might think otherwise.

Give yourself a hyperthetical situation. You have 500 CDs to rip at 4 minute per disc.  That's 33 hours or more of your time. (assuming you get it right first time) What would you pay to have your 500 disc done for you and several weeks of your time back to live life?

-Tim

professorhat's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

w0067814 wrote:

£30 for 300 CDs (10p disc) is unrealistic. Even with a robot handling 60 CDs per hour, that it only £6 per hour revenue - ie before costs.

Yes thought it might be - unfortunately that's as much as I would be willing to pay, so looks like you'll never get my business  Smile

w0067814 wrote:

Give yourself a hyperthetical situation. You have 500 CDs to rip at 4 minute per disc.  That's 33 hours or more of your time. (assuming you get it right first time) What would you pay to have your 500 disc done for you and several weeks of your time back to live life?

-Tim

The trouble is it's not that though, unless you devotingly sit watching the disc rip, then put the next disc in, and sit and watch etc. It's unlikely anyone who knows about ripping CDs would not know that, in reality, you put a disc in, then go away and do something else, come back and put the next in etc. So for each rip, it's really only a few seconds of your time. And there's no way these people are going to spend anything near £500 to get those few minutes back - unless they're fabulously wealthy of course, but I think they're far and few between.

The market you're looking for is people who have no clue about this and who are rich enough to contemplate spending that sort of cash without even thinking about looking into the alternatives, or someone who needs their big collection ripped in a very short timescale. And that leads me to thinking why this may be such an expensive service - the market for it is so small, you've got to make a massive profit out of them to make it a worthwhile business enterprise.

 

Overdose's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

w0067814 wrote:

 

Thanks for the suggestions of how to tip music as you listen, but what I am really after is the cost at which you would be tempted to use a professional service rather than do it yourself. I understand that many people have collections of under 200 CDs, and they are less likely to use a service, but I think there are people with large collections who might think otherwise.

 

I don't think any answer here is going to help you. This process is extremely time consuming to do a thorough job and if you don't do it yourself, then someone else is going to need to be paid for their time.

The question you need to be asking is one for yourself, how much is your time worth?

 

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professorhat's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

Overdose wrote:

w0067814 wrote:

Thanks for the suggestions of how to tip music as you listen, but what I am really after is the cost at which you would be tempted to use a professional service rather than do it yourself. I understand that many people have collections of under 200 CDs, and they are less likely to use a service, but I think there are people with large collections who might think otherwise.

I don't think any answer here is going to help you. This process is extremely time consuming to do a thorough job and if you don't do it yourself, then someone else is going to need to be paid for their time.

The question you need to be asking is one for yourself, how much is your time worth?

To be fair, I think the OP was asking the question because he's thinking of setting up a rival service. So he wants to know if anyone else would consider paying for the service and, if they did, what would they pay.

 

whoam1's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

I paid 50p per CD. This was for 2 formats.

Overdose's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

If it's a business you need to know your bottom line with regards hourly rate, work back from there.

Regardless of what people would be prepared to shell out, you would have to have a minimu hourly rate to pay the bills.

Sorry Professor, I should have quoted you to keep the posts together. doh!

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bigboss's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

There are a few services offering 60p per disc. What would really tempt me, is a DVD & blu ray ripping service (is it legal yet?) at a reasonable price, not the exorbitant £5 per DVD charged by your example.

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professorhat's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

Overdose wrote:

If it's a business you need to know your bottom line with regards hourly rate, work back from there.

Regardless of what people would be prepared to shell out, you would have to have a minimu hourly rate to pay the bills.

True, but you also need to conduct market research to find out if (a) you can make money based on your minimum hourly rate compared with what people are willing to pay and (b) you can undercut the current major players in order to attract people to your business. 

That way you can find out if it's worth even thinking about going any further before you put in any work / investment into doing so.

 

bigboss's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

They charge 69p per CD & 99p per DVD / blu ray.

http://www.digiraw.com

Not bad at all.

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w0067814's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

OK, so it seems like there could be some interest in services around the 50p mark. This is what I was thinking myself. In fact I wonder how far it can be pushed below that price point?

To give some back ground, I am an engineer so I can manufacture things myself, and write software. As such I can remove some of the costs for robotics which present quite an investment for a ripping company. Furthermore I have some ideas for future software products. These products require statistical data from CDs and one method for obtaining this is to compute it whilst providing a service for others. This isn't personal data, but rather data about the actual CD itself. So taking it to the extreme, I could provide the services at pretty much cost purely to fulfil the purpose of obtaining statiscical data.

I'm also considering whether there is a business in CD Storage, and music file back up service. I know that having ripped my own colleciton I no longer want them hanging around taking up space on my sitting room shelves. I also don't relish the thought of having to re-rip my collection should ever I need to (even at the 75 discs per hour I averaged). OK I have a backup, but there are lots of people who don't...

I can calculate the cost models, but it is difficult to estimate the number of CDs (perhaps DVD / Blurays) per month that shall be put through the system. Cost is obviously a big factor, so if I can hit a price point where people are tempted by the service, then I stand a higher chance of success.

Thanks for the comments.

-Tim

cheeseboy's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

you're also going to need to find a reliable, good courier service.  (rhetorical question) what do you do if somebody sends you 1000 cd's and then you send them back and they go missing or are damaged in transit?  Not sure how many courier companies would insure that?

Overdose's picture
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RE: Professional Ripping Service - How much is fair?

If you want to make some money, design an app to scan an existing music library and correct the metadata using one of the main industry databases.

 

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