Saturday, July 21, 2007


I've got the additional speakers and switch box for the stereo system in the new store. That brings our speaker count up to eight, so we can have music in the game center and the retail space. I may buy special volume nobs that let me adjust volume in each area.

I'm going to buy an XM Radio Satellite Receiver for the store today. XM has a soundtracks station called Cinemagic which seems a good fit for the store. For example, the music playing today on Cinemagic comes from: Sin City, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, Kill Bill, and much more. There's a large variety, without commercials, and best of all no legal headaches. You can check it out online for free here.

Why the hassle? You might not know this, but there are laws, pretty bad ones, about playing pre-recorded music in stores. Several organizations, such as ASCAP, have scouts that go out and find stores that violate this rule, and then extort money from them. I actually looked into paying these fees, but not only are they expensive, but it's confusing to figure out who to pay and how. Here's an excerpt from an article to give you an example:

Let's take the example of a small bookstore, under 2,000 square feet. The store plays CDs through two speakers, and does not have live entertainment, does not sell CDs, nor does it have a cafe. This owner will pay an annual sum of $524.64 in licensing fees: $190 per year to ASCAP (which bases its basic annual fee on the number of speakers); $152 per year to SESAC (which bases its basic annual fee on square feet); and $182.64 per year to BMI (which bases its fees on square feet).
Our new larger store, under the law, won't even allow us to play a standard radio station for free! This is because we exceed the square footage and speaker count specified in the law for "small" stores. So Black Diamond Games 2.0 would need to pay the following annual fees:

  • BMI: $354.43
  • SESAC: $152
  • ASCAP: $385
Total to play CD's: $891.43 each year

Or I can pay the XM commercial fee of $27.95/month ($335/year) with the added benefit of having satellite radio in my car. "Ah hah!" You say. Now I see why you want XM. For your personal use. Actually, having XM is just so darn cool for me, it's kept me from getting it all this time. Now I can justify it a bit better.


  1. Should have gone with Sirius. I have had it in the car and home since Howard moved over. Either way, satellite is great (when it works). No commercials and you can listen to the same channel on long drives.

  2. I still haven't gone with XM. My car stereo needs to be replaced again this Thursday. It's under warranty and this will be the third one.

    I chose XM over Sirius because of the Soundtrack station. I couldn't find anything equivalent on Sirius.

    I used to have Sirius in one of my past cars, also a Daimler product (like yours).