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A Note on Our Prices (January 2019)


In starting a business, there are numerous things that need to be identified, considered, and addressed.  While some have straightforward resolutions, others are nebulous and require pondering, draft solutions, and revisions.  Deciding how to structure Play It Again, Paul, LLC’s services and products, and what to charge for them, was among the latter.


During 2016, the year before starting business operations, I explored what numerous U.S.-based companies charged for conversion, track splitting, noise reduction, and waveform editing.  Here are some of the things I discovered from this market survey.


For LPs

  • Prices ranged from $5.00 for just conversion to $64.99 for conversion, track splitting, and noise reduction.

  • Seventy-two percent of the companies included track splitting in their base prices, 11% charged extra for that service, and 17% either didn't provide the service or neglected to mention it.

  • Sixty-one percent included noise reduction in their base prices, 28% charged extra ($2.00-$40.00), and 11% didn't offer or mention it.

  • Only 22% offered waveform editing for LPs.Half of those charged $50.00 to $80.00 per hour.The others included the service in their base prices.

  • Two-thirds of those who bundled conversion, track splitting, and noise reduction charged between $10.00 and $20.00 per LP; the prices charged by the other third ranged from $24.95 to $64.99.


For Cassettes and Reel-to-Reel Tapes

  • Prices for a 60-minute cassette, including splitting tracks, varied from a low of $10.00 to a high of $29.99 and averaged about $17.00.

  • Some companies mentioned that cassette track splitting was included in their base service, others cited it as an option with an additional fee, and the remainder didn’t cite it at all.  It is unclear whether track splitting was included in the offerings by the last group or was a service that they do not provide.

  • Some offered price breaks for larger numbers of cassettes, usually in increments of 10 to 25.

  • Some companies, but not all, had prices that varied with the length of the cassette.

  • None claimed to give any credit for partially recorded cassettes.  For example, a cassette with a 60-minute capacity was priced for 60 minutes, irrespective of how much of the tape was actually used.

  • Prices for 120-minute reel-to-reel tapes, including splitting tracks, ranged from $26.00 to $66.60.


I started Play It Again, Paul, LLC for the enjoyment and challenges it will provide and the satisfaction I receive by providing customers something they value, rather than as a source of income.  I’ve therefore been able to target price for LPs (less than $14.00 at the time of this writing for conversion, noise reduction, CD, and jewel case) to fall at or below the mid-range of the market survey prices, as well as below the typical cost of a new CD.  I derived tape (cassette, reel-to-reel, and micro-cassette) prices from those for an LP, as the amount of time spent in setting up the recording, splitting tracks, etc. is comparable.  However, the amount of effort involved does depend on the length of the tape, as well as the recording speed in the case of reel-to-reel tapes.  Establishing prices based on 15-minute increments struck me as a reasonable way to proceed.  One thing that distinguishes Play It Again, Paul, LLC from the pack is that charges are based on the length of the recorded audio, not the full length of the tape.  A 60-minute cassette with only 10 minutes of recorded audio would incur the cost of only one 15-minute increment (plus CD and case), not four.  (See Our Prices for the current prices.)



I should mention that there are some infrequent circumstances where I will need to charge for splitting tracks.  Tracks on typical commercial recordings, be they vinyl, cassette, or tape, are discrete, and their beginnings and ends are easily spotted in the audio waveform.  This is not the case for some recordings, e.g., personal recordings of conversations and musicals with continuous music and speech.  In order to identify where to split tracks, I would need to listen to the entire audio file, and the time I spend doing this is billable.  Customers can avoid this charge by identifying the times where each split should occur, noting minute and second.  If they don’t have the capacity to play their media, I can send them an MP3 file of the entire recording for review.

Market Survey - tilted.jpg

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