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Amoeba Music selling digitised obscurities from its Vinyl Vaults

Following a major revamp of its website, Amoeba Music has begun offering digital downloads of its Vinyl Vaults section of rare and out of print records.

The collection includes 12"s, 45s, LPs and 78s: Louis Armstrong Okeh discs, Aldous Huxley spoken word records, Memphis Minnie, Rev JM Gates, Django Reinhardt, plus New Age and comedy sections. Amoeba add a handful of new digitisations per day, with the catalogue currently sitting at around 1,100 titles, and individual track downloads (of MP3s, WAVs or lossless M4As) run from 78¢ to $1.50. The project has taken six years and cost $11million.

As for rights, Amoeba is not chasing permissions. Sales from the records go into an escrow account. Marc Weinstein, Amoeba co-owner, is quoted as saying: "If [someone says], 'That's mine,' well, OK, we can either take it down or we'll sell it, and you've got this nice [digital] master. We'll sell it, we'll promote it; let's sign a contract."