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Vending machine makes custom music CDs

March 19, 1999
Web posted at: 6:54 p.m. EST (2354 GMT)

(CNN) - It was a pretty big deal for a vending machine. Hundreds of businessmen turned out this week for a demonstration of "MyCD," a vending machine that makes music CDs on demand.

Hansol Telecom, the makers of the machine, say it's the "ultimate in personal entertainment" allowing customers to choose their favorite songs and record them on one compact disk. Company chairman Kim Kwang-jin says the system is as easy to operate as a coffee or tea machine and says he hopes it will give a boost to the music industry.

For customers fond of doing their own music compilations, the machine is a godsend - and its simple to operate.

Just put in a 10,000 won bill (about $8.30) into the vending machine and users are welcomed by a friendly female voice.

Customers can then select five melodies from a 10,000-song music library. MyCD will then play a short clip of each tune to make sure it's the right one.

The machines include western and Korean pop songs, classical music, children's' songs and Korean traditional music.

After selecting the music, customers can then choose what label to put on the CD. Choose from a photograph of the MyCD machine or a favorite music artist. Users can even put their own image on the disk by having the machine take their picture.

Text can also be printed on the disk by typing on a keyboard. It only takes five minutes for a finished music CD to pop out.

Customers seem pleased with the new technology.

"Each and every CD contains some songs I like and other songs I don't like. It will be great if I can select and record only the songs I like," said 39-year-old Lee Jin.

"I spend lots of money to buy many CDs only for one song I like. So it's really nice to have a CD with songs of my selection. But it's expensive -- 10,000 won for five songs," said 31-year-old Suh Young-eun.

A normal CD has more than five songs and costs about 11,000 won ($9.00).

But not everyone is embracing the new invention. Record shop manager Cho Jung-yong said he was worried record sales would be affected.

Hansol Telecom executives hope that the machine will catch on internationally. They already received inquiries from the United States, Japan, France, Russia, Hong Kong and Singapore. They plan to produce 500 machines this year and expand production next year. They are hoping that despite the current economic crisis, the machines will generate a turnover of some 100 million won ($83,000) each year - as well as giving customers exactly the sort of music they want to hear.

"MyCD" will make it's public debut in May. It will be found in department stores and on busy street corners, giving music fans plenty of opportunity to get exactly what they want to hear.

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Hansol Telecom
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CD Jukebox Channel On!
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