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Thursday September 7, 2000

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Local record sales not affected by online music providers

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Despite study saying college area record store sales are down, UA area sales remain constant

Free, easily accessible music downloaded from the Internet has become hugely popular in recent years, but proprietors of local music stores say technology is still of little threat to their businesses.

A national study on music buyers' habits conducted earlier this year found that while overall record sales have increased 12 percent since the widespread availability of music online, record stores located near college campuses have seen a 4 percent dip in sales.

However, for shops near the University of Arizona, Internet music providers like Napster and - both of which have experienced losses in court due to copyright infringement - have not presented competition for building music collections the traditional way - by purchasing compact discs.

Maggie Anderson, owner of Zip's Records, 946 E. University Blvd., said business has remained brisk despite the recent trend in downloading music.

"Not everybody is into free stuff," Anderson said. "One or two songs may be good, but they want the whole album."