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Daft Punk Pricing Anomaly on Amazon

I just bought the new Daft Punk album, "Random Access Memories."

I had never heard of Daft Punk prior to this past week or so. I saw a picture of the guys in the suits and the helmets in the Sunday NY Times. It was on the Style section, so I didn't bother reading it. I thought it was some new fashion.

But then I saw the helmets again in a picture in the WSJ, and on my second exposure was piqued enough to read it. Then I saw an article in Rolling Stone.

The Cynical me said, this is an incredible PR blitz. "Either that," said the other me, "or this is a real phenomenon."

I chose to believe the latter and bought the new CD. I like it. Interesting. I would not say, 'spectacular' as a whole, but there are some snips of genius on that record, and some of them are tied to this pricing anomaly that I'm about to tell you about:

Currently the physical CD, with free delivery if you're on Amazon Prime, is $9.99. The MP3's only are more - $11.99.

I bought the CD and it was delivered one day early. Amazon now has private couriers running around the city. On some days, you can order stuff and get it the same day. It is the reincarnation of Kozmo.com.

But in addition to the CD, I got the MP3's for free for signing up to the Amazon cloud player. Not only that, I got the MP3 for every CD I ever bought (new) at Amazon! It was all consolidated in their new "Cloud Player" - completely integrated into my exisiting account. The player runs right in the browser - nothing to download. It all exists in the cloud, and is beamed down to me - a direct laser beam of music - at my request.

Amazon, I'm sure, has a record of every purchase that I've ever made with them. They gave me MP3s of CDs I forgot I even bought, including U2's "How to Dismantle a Nuclear Bomb." Nothing too notable on that disk, aside from "Vertigo." I have no idea where my disk itself is. But I think it is worth another listen. But I ramble.

- - - - -

What does the pricing anomaly actually mean?

1) We've moved into the digital age, so owning a physical disk is actually a burden. That is, not having to have a thing you don't need - the jewel case, and the disk itself - is actually a good.

2) Amazon is targeting people like me who've never made the full leap to a digital music environment. I still prefer CDs. But you know what? Amazon made is so easy. I didn't feel like I was being sold. And it is a benefit, to have the disk for my car, which is old, but not so old that it has a tape player. It does have a CD player. But it doesn't have a jack for my phone or other pod-type device. I suppose the new cars have that.

Anyway, thoughts are welcome.

Here's the page:

If you like music check out the album. There is a haunting quality to it. And an exuberant quality. And it has a cool title, "Random Access Memories." It seems so fitting for our times. Our times seem to be a time of Randomness. We're too close to see the pattern, but a pattern is emerging, and this album is the musical representation of it.

We're melding with the machines. A melding is taking place.

The first song is a 1970's disco beat combined with robotically synthesized voices, a sound that is simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic. It pulls you in both directions - back and forth - back and forth, and that is what makes it so exuberant. It undulates on a wide amplitude.

There is a curious, but TOTALLY AWESOME & INSPIRING WTF as Track #3.

- - - - -

Related: Have you noticed? The new space race is on. Have you guys been watching the arms race in the new final frontier - The Internet. Amazon, Apple & Google are duking it out. Netflix is in there, and Yahoo! is trying to make a move. The future remains wide open. Apple has shown its vulnerability. Amazon appears to be in the lead now. Apple had a high margin strategy, while Amazon's strategy is low margin, but high value. Apple originally offered high value at its high prices, but that value has not exactly dropped in absolute terms, it has been eroded away by inflation. Inflation cause by Google offering a free product that Samsung has run away with. Samsung and Sony are still in the race, as are Microsoft and Intel. Microsoft in particular has an advantage in entertainment, with its X-Box. And Microsoft has the media, in (MS) NBC - triangulated with GE (NBC), which is one of the biggest war contractors.

GE tries to look clean with its MSNBC, leftist, liberal, anti-war schtick. But they're all just schticks. Fox has got its own schtick going. CNN"s problem is that it can't find a schtick.

But that is all another story.

- - - - -

So this should also show up on the DP Bookshelf too. There will be a book written about this album. I discovered this book series in London:


I bought a book on Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited. I haven't finished it. It is the quintessential vacation book.

- - - - -

"There was no preconception what to do." That is the message of track three, looking back at the history of electronica, but it is true of the future - not only the future of music, which Daft Punk is exploring, but the future in general.

There is an exuberance and a triumph in fulfilling our destiny - in melding with the machines, and that is expressed.

But in addition, the d e e p , d e e p , sorrow and sadness of such a development. That emotion is captured as well. The Autumn of Humanity. Track #4, Intertia is a heartbreaker. Who's singing? A human in a computer's world, or a computer in the human world?

There are so many things that I don't understand
There's a world within me that I cannot explain
Many rooms to explore, but the doors look the same
I am lost I can't even remember my name

I've been, for sometime,
Looking for someone
I need to know now
Please tell me who I am

There are so many things
That I don't understand
There's a world within me
That I cannot explain
Many rooms to explore
But the doors look the same
(where are the locks to try the key)

Definitely a stoner album. Dark Side of the Moon for Gen Y.

Check it out and let me know what you think:


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I am a huge EDM fan and Daft

I am a huge EDM fan and Daft Punk are legendary pioneers in the genre. That being said I am not a huge fan of their new album but that is just my taste. Another album that just dropped that is a masterpiece of music is Pretty Lights new album Color Map of the Sun. It was made by sampling musicians from Brooklyn and New Orleans live then transferred to vinyl and mixed using only analogue equipment.

Around the Block:

Here is the documentary on it, its really interesting:


We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

Michael Nystrom's picture

"If love is the answer you'll hold..."

Hold on...

Like they're singing directly to me. Daring me to believe, that love is the answer, and if so. Hold on.

Such a sweet melody, at the end of Touch.

The sheer unpredictability of this album is a delight. It is a storybook unfolding. I can feel it stimulating my visual cortex as well. With headphones on, and eyes closed, it is the ultimate sensual experience. In some ways, a guilty pleasure. Subversive, almost: For the next hour +, I'm tuning out of the media-industrial-complex loop, for a deeper swim in it.

Hold on. If love is the answer, hold on.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Visual sound effects

You hear the music. You see the music. You follow the lead, wherever it goes. It is interesting and fun, and somehow soothing. It is almost a direct emotional experience.

Genius fot the way it holds the attention, of a mindful direction on the music. Overall, an instant classic. The definer of an age. The summer of 2013. Daft Punk is the soundtrack of the Summer of 2013.

Michael Nystrom's picture

BTW - The pricing anomaly is gone...

So the $9.99 price I paid was to juice sales at the beginning.

The current price, at the Amazon Exchange is:

CD: $11.88
MP3: $11.99

Freaky weird. What is the logic? Is there any? Are they just running experiments on us? Collecting data?

Who knows.

The album is good. What this guys said in the Amazon reviews

This album is like watching a movie. It's a soundtrack to a life, really, a life of two robots trying to be human. It's slower-paced, somber, and meaningful. And it's really good. 5 stars

The album is a story book, told in music. It is what the Beatles Pioneered with Sgt. Pepper's. It defies categorization and thus by definition it is original.

It is a landmark.

Love and Peace, Or Else

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb...




Never be afraid to ask simple questions.

2 thumbs up. beats most of

2 thumbs up. beats most of the tracks on RAM based on pure energy alone.

Pricing Anomaly

You make some good points regarding the reasons for an mp3 being more than the CD. The cost of warehousing forcing Amazon to have quick turnover on the physical CD could be another factor, whereas the cost of "warehousing" an mp3 is practically nil. However, I would say that this is predominantly a consumer preference phenomenon- even if you overnight the CD, it is at least 24 hours before you can listen to it (and lug it around in your discman).

Mises.org had a good article a few years back about a similar issue with digital vs. physical books. It's worth a read if you have the time. https://www.mises.org/daily/5775/

i only like

Harder, faster, stronger from their early cds. I haven't looked into this album and listened to samples yet.

For now I'm hooked to volbeat - above heaven/beyond hell. Check them out.

Homeland security statement: patriotism is now considered terrorism.
I love www.isidewith.com shared it with everyone I know. If anything they realize its not just a red and blue idiot running for reelection.

This Daft Punk record is

This Daft Punk record is nothing short of amazing.

Clubbin in the 90's...


“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul



“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul

pop and lock

that's some smooth Soul Train

that's some smooth Soul Train dancing right there. Carlton is still THE man.


“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul

I'm just glad it wasn't painful

every time I hear a new word I get completely apprehensive. I didn't know what a Honey Boo Boo was for a long time and I was much happier for it. I was absolutely sure I didn't want to know what Zumba Dancing is, I still don't and I have not suffered for this lack of knowledge insofar as I'm aware.

Ignorance is bliss?

So I was gonna do my best to not know what Daft Punk is. Now that I know I feel not much worse for the wear. Kinda like getting rickrolled. You live through it.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.

As the kids say, Mike this is

As the kids say, Mike this is one of your most "random" posts ever. What were you smokin'? :P

Books too!

My wife bought me a Kindle Paperwhite last Christmas, and I've learned that Amazon offers free cloud storage for books you've purchased, which you can access not only from your Kindle, but from any computer. Books which have fallen out of copyright can usually be "purchased" and downloaded for free. I'm also discovering more and more websites that offer free downloads. Mises.org has a whole bunch of good stuff. Then there's Gutenberg.org, BookOS.org, Book4me.org, and manybooks.net . . . And Amazon isn't the only one offering free cloud storage, either: I've got my entire library backed up on Dropbox.com, which lets you access your files from any internet connection, and they can be read using the Calibre e-book reader (www.calibre-ebook.com)

I've come to enjoy reading on the Kindle even more than reading physical books, because of neat features:
* Automatically bookmarks the last page read on every book (you can read several books concurrently, each with its own bookmark.)
* Lighted screen allows reading in a dark room.
* Increase or decrease the font size, easily.
* Easy to highlight and add notes to memorable passages, to access later.
* Pages are easier to "turn" than paper pages.
* Same size as a typical paperback book.
* Free cloud storage of purchased books.
* Free 3G access to Amazon Kindle store (unit also allows 4G access to the internet in free WiFi areas -- unfortunately, the experimental browser sucks.)

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

Remember this phenomenon?


For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

Daft Punk is sick. They make amazing music.

Anyone see the new Tron movie? Tron: Revolution? Daft did the entire soundtrack.


Harder, faster, stronger

Love Daft Punk

For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

"not so old that it has a tape player"

Wanna hear old? I still have an AM radio in my car. :D

Welcome back, Michael. Hope you had a great time on your vacation.

Daft punk is that big.

And them releasing a new album is BIG BIG news.

Senator Peter Schiff 2016

Welcome back!

You've been missed.
I am still unable to post threads, will that situation be permanent?
I'll check out Daft Punk. My new musical discovery is Blackberry Smoke. They remind me a lot of "Little Feat" or "Lynard Skynard." Especially on this one...

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Joη's picture

are you going to stop suggesting Jeff Bauman was an actor?

it sounded like you were really close here to actually accepting what happened, but I never got an answer:

"You underestimate the character of man." | "So be off now, and set about it." | Up for a game?

You blocked my ability to reply.

I was not talking to you. I'm not interested in talking to you, you are irrational.
There are REASONABLE DOUBTS, as a MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL I have doubts, and I think it is far healthier for people to ask uncomfortable questions than to demand compliance with a particular line of thinking.
I am perfectly willing to agree to disagree with you, but you demand I have your opinion. Not going to happen.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Joη's picture

...apparently comments were disabled on that thread last week

(by a different mod)

I still linked it here in our original conversation for a reply. A reply to me anywhere'd be fine, really. I doubt that was actually stopping you.

But this is still not a matter of opinion.

So close. I'll leave the unpleasantness in Michael's thread at that.

"You underestimate the character of man." | "So be off now, and set about it." | Up for a game?

Yes, I tried to reply to you.

Did Bauman get his legs blown off? Well, obviously at some point he did. When and where it happened, I do not know. What I KNOW is that bilateral severed arteries will generally kill a person in minutes without aggressive and immediate intervention. Bauman not only did not get immediate treatment, he got the WRONG treatment. He should be dead, and with no one running around touting the medical miracle that kept him alive, it leaves me with serious doubts about the official story.
FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME. Yeah, my answer remains I DON'T KNOW and here is the kicker, asshat, you don't KNOW either.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Daft Punk are a hoot!

But I wish to address this observation:

"1) We've moved into the digital age, so owning a physical disk is actually a burden, i.e. not having to have a thing you don't need is a good. "

From my perspective, this is a mixed bag. As an artist / musician (having recently "released" an album, too) I honestly am disappointed (and always have been) by this trend. It beggars these questions / lamentations:

1. It is sad that people desire no connection to the CD or--especially--the vinyl record as an objet d'art. Forget for now the notion of transportability, which is an obvious issue (Vinyl LPs are cumbersome! So... well, OK. But were CDs so terrible?). What about the tactile experiences associated with deploying a CD / cassette / LP / 8 track / etc. ? I think it's neat! And the artwork on LPs is, of course, often legendary: owning one is like getting a limited series print of some sort (Never mind--and even better--if there are fold-up 3-D "glasses" or, more often, a concert poster inside, etc.)!

2. To me, when I get an album, I love those hours spent (if it is worthy creative product) sitting on the couch, listening and reading through the "liner notes" / CD booklet do-dad. This is to be SAVORED. Perhaps because I am a nerdy musical craftsperson myself, I enjoy trying to identify the "tools" used to create the music when listening... plus the moments of verification (or not) when I find out, through studying thorough-enough liner notes, whether my hunches are correct. (OK, this is pretty self-absorbed stuff!)

3. The real object, I believe, is hardly burdensome; on the contrary, files get lost, corrupted, etc. I'll take my pain-in-the-ass, unwieldy CD and vinyl collections over some non-tangible collection of 010001111011010111's any day! (Also, as people often post on the DP with respect to gold and silver: in the end, the physical object in your possession is true; not certificates, bitcoins [Sorry, gang!], or other wisps and promises! Ha!)

4. What has happened to album-oriented music? I dislike the notion / practice of picking individual tracks from albums (like cutting individual organs out of a body), but while I abhor this when the albums are "classics", I can understand this practice as applied when lesser-quality musical "efforts" (or lacks thereof!) are involved. Yes, it is sad that as the overall quality of music (pop, primarily) declined in years past, the number of decent tracks on an album declined to where one had to skip a lot of tracks which were shite, and records were less and less worthwhile as "investments". So I suppose this is really the fault / responsibility of artists and--perhaps more so--their money-grubbing producers!

5. The sound quality experience. Any of us who participate in the creation / production of music know that MP3s are CRAP! On any decent system they sound like utter and complete caca and make my ears hurt! But hey, if it's Allegory of the Cave time and you're in the cave, happy with the shadow show on the wall, then rock on, brothers and sisters! And the LP experience? Buttersville, USA!

6. And there's more. (Forgot the other point I was going to make.)

To wrap up, obviously I understand the "con-veeen-yence" of all things digital. I have no argument against loading up an iPod with your favorite tunes and taking it on a road trip or plugging it into a player at a party. That is FANTASTIC! But to not own "the real article" in any iteration or form? Hmmmm. Pretty wack, in my view! (But I am a snotty artist, musician, and dinosaur! So, to each his / her own, I say....)

Shameless plug time: If you like 1970's style instrumental funk / fusion / jazz / progressive art rock / R & B (Think Steely Dan chords and grooves, Gentle Giant weirdness, Weather Report, Tangerine Dream, and ??? all smushed together.) with old synths, electric pianos, horns, drums, etc.--ALL REAL INSTRUMENTS (NO digital crap emulations)--then message me. I have a CD for ya... and with real artwork and liner notes. Plus, it can double as a coaster!

What would the Founders do?

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thank you for the observations

It has been a long time since I sat around and savored an entire album like this. There is so much to be learned from music.

This one is truly a production - well designed and crafted. It works together as a whole that I didn't see just driving around, listening to the CD in the car. There is so much nostalgia to it. Hints of Supertramp in the album design.

But again, relentlessly pushing forward the new sound of music.

I'm old school. I like the CD covers. I prefer the albums - that's what I grew up on - but there is the space issue. Not to mention the cost issue. This album is available on vinyl, but at something like $35.00.

- - - -

But we're in a transition phase. Before you know it, we'll all be living on the internet. We'll, like, climb inside of it, and then what are we going to do with all those jewel cases. We'll convert them to digital objects and bring them with us, no doubt.

I'll give your CD a listen.

Looking forward to it. There are some incredibly talented musicians here. Thank you.

Try this.

Amazing piece of writing, Michael. Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvPKDZ4ty68.

I missed this at the time -- only discovered it in the last year. That second chorus... :D

Yes, savor!


Resist the temptation to feed the trolls.