Sticking to its proud tradition of charging for services that take a couple button clicks to accomplish, i.e. HDTV and video game console “optimization,” Best Buy is now offering to rip music off your CDs and transfer it to an MP3 player or DVD.
If you don’t know how to rip music off a CD, you’re probably having someone read you this post. Best Buy charges you $1 a CD and $35 for a shipping kit. Reader Sabler spotted the program and sent us his responses to the Geek Squad‘s sales pitch:
1) We are an amazing time saver!
True. Asking someone to rip even one CD for me saves me untold seconds. Time has, in fact, been saved.
Look, unless you’ve got an entire room dedicated to CDs this isn’t tantamount to canceling weekend plans. On a modern computer, a disc averaging about 12 tracks should encode in ~2 minutes. Even if you’ve got a pile of 100 CDs that’s only going to be about 3 hours of your time. Make some coffee, do a crossword or three, make some phone calls, pay some bills…
2) Just $1 per CD includes free shipping, insurance, cleaning, and repair
On the flip side of this, if you have so much music that you can’t bear to do this by yourself, you have to ask if it’s worth spending any money on the risk of your stuff getting lost, stolen, or damaged by, God help you, Geek Squad’s repair + cleaning services.
3) We’ll transfer your music to a purchased device free of charge
In the world of the iPod, iPhone, and Zune, this is pretty much automated.
4) We have great metadata and album artwork
I have my beefs with Gracenote/CDDB occasionally having some wrong information, but this is the most hands-off, automatic part of CD-ripping. Why am I paying these guys to do it again?
5) We have legendary service and support and a satisfaction guarantee
Which reminds me of an joke I once saw in an (obviously) fake ACME Catalog. “We stand by our products, usually at a safe distance.”
Oh, Geek Squad, what will you think of next?