CD swapping services Lala and Swaptree ready to launch in the US

The creators of Lala are trying a different tack to appease the music industry that is desperate to recoup some money from the online music sharing phenomenon.

Lala calls itself the largest record store on Earth. Each CD costs just $1.49 to buy, out of which $1 goes to the site and $0.49 pays for shipping.

But here's the twist: out of each $1, 20 cents goes to back to recording artists.

To use the site, you simply sign up and list the CDs you'd like to trade. If someone else wants your CD, they pay $1.49, and Lala.com sends you a shipping kit for your item.

You can even create a Want List so that other users can offer you their music.

Lala.com claims to already have 100,000 users signed up in its beta trial, and says the catalog of music is already bigger than on sites like eBay or Amazon.com.

The site can't stop you from copying a CD on to your computer or portable device and then selling it on, but Bill Nguyen, one of the co-founders of the site, has posted a letter asking users to delete songs "from your iPod or PC if you've agreed to send the CD to another member".

Nguyen told Pocket-lint, "We do have plans to provide service in the UK. Ideally, we'll be there by the end of summer, and we're working out details with the Royal Mail".

Swaptree.com is another media-sharing forum, but it doesn't offer any piece of the pie to the recording industry.

It works by a complicated algorithm system that computes what you can receive in a trade for whatever book, cd, dvd, or video game you list.

All you do if you want to swap an item is pay the shipping cost of $2 or less. Swaptree even lets you print out the mailing label online.

The site will even let you do three- and four-person swaps so that everyone gets what they want somehow in one parcel or another.

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