A friend in Pittsburgh sent me a link yesterday to this eBay auction of what’s being billed as the world’s greatest collection of recorded music. I thought that it was too odd to be true, but the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and NPR have both run interviews with the collector, a man in Pine, a Pittsburgh suburb, who runs “Record Rama Sound Archives.” The collection has this professional-looking website, apparently assembled to market the sale, and this more modest day to day site, which captures the essential suburban ennui of Pine township.
There’s more to the deal than a huge stack of vinyl. This is a soup-to-nuts music city, past, present, and future. From the eBay listing:
“The new owner of this magnificent collection will also acquire (1) the rights to Spin-Clean, the owner’s patented vinyl record cleaning system, considered the best on the market by audiophiles the world over, (2) the rights to Discmist CD cleaner, (3) CD Saver 2-part archival CD storage sleeves, (4)Yellow Jacket 45 RPM acid-free archival storage sleeves, (5) ownership of the owner’s six publishing companies and eight independent record labels, and (7) more than $100,000 worth of antique recording and listening devices and other music memorabilia currently on loan to a museum.”
I listened to the NPR piece this afternoon, and the seller sounds like a sweet guy. I couldn’t help but wonder whether the world would explode if Google dropped a $50 million check on him, then digitized the entire archive and posted it online via “Google Music Search.”