Money to Burn?
By Reed Tucker, FORTUNE

(FORTUNE Magazine) - Music snobs -- those ridiculously knowledgeable record aficionados who have stacks of European-import CDs and can recite every Dylan B-side -- may be no fun to talk to at parties, but now they can at least monetize their exquisite taste.

A handful of new sites like BurnLounge, Weedshare, and Peer Impact put music moguldom in reach, letting anyone legally sell songs and albums online.

"The whole thing is based on the corner record store," says BurnLounge president and COO Ryan Dadd, 29. "I used to walk in, and the guy at the counter would have five records he thought I'd like."

At BurnLounge, for $30 to $310 a year, music fans (10,000 have put up a shingle so far) can stock their shops with tunes from a library of more than a million tracks. (All major record labels are represented.) Store owners earn free music credits or keep five cents of the 99-cent song price. In an Amway-ish turn, some owners can even take a cut from anyone they persuade to open a store.

Best of all? Finally those music snobs will have something else to talk about at parties. Top of page

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