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Shift Music

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to digitize your music without having to sit in front of the computer? That time as come: Shift Music will transfer that collection for you.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to digitize your music without having to sit in front of the computer like a monkey who only knows how to feed CDs into a drive? Well, ditch the bananas: Los Angeles-based Shift Music will transfer that collection for you, and even provide some home entertainment consulting. Co-founder Aaron Grosky says it’s all about the music.

How did Shift get started?

I had received a new iPod as a gift and was overwhelmed by how much time it would take to digitize all of my 1,500-plus CDs, but couldn’t imagine the use an iPod without being able to put all of my music on it. There was also the fact that there are a great number of people who want to use this technology but don’t have the time, patience, or perhaps, understanding to get started. Seeing a need in the marketplace, my business partner, Patrick Brennan, and I set out to fill that need. Different iterations of the business plan were developed throughout 2003, and in quarter 4 of that same year, Shift became a reality.

What’s involved in the digital music conversion service, and why is it attractive to your clients?

The conversion service is really what gets people interested first. We come to a client, catalog and box their entire music collection, and then take it to our facility to handle the digitizing. Once we’ve completed the task, we store the digital music library on either an external hard drive or DVD data discs, as decided by the client. We then return to the client with their original music collection (boxed for storage), and install the new digital music library. The process of digitizing all of your music is a tedious, time-consuming task. Our clients always maintain that their music would never have gotten on their iPod had it not been for Shift.

What got you personally interested in this kind of work?

The two main focuses in my life have consistently been music and technology, so a venture that inextricably ties the two is a natural evolution for me. I’ve always been the person all of my friends and colleagues call when they are either trying to upgrade to new technology, or are experiencing crisis with their current setups. It just seems right to do what you know how to do.

What kinds of challenges did you find in providing your services?

Our two greatest challenges fall in the process, and the industry itself. We are ever seeking new methods to further reduce the processing time per client. This is, in essence, a manual process in so far as each disc must be read individually. In order to respect current copyright law, we never store titles for easy access down the road. With regard to the industry, the lack of standards and interoperability among content providers and hardware manufacturers continues to limit the options for the consumer.

What do you like best about what you do?

I’d have to say it’s helping people rediscover their love of music. Invariably, all of our clients are amazed by how much more of their collections they listen to once it’s accessible on their MP3 players. Music can be very powerful, and very nostalgic. I was amazed at how much more of my own collection I listened to once it was on my iPod. I rediscovered favorite CDs I hadn’t listened to in years. And many times, clients want to expand their system. That always makes me happy.

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