In November, a Wisconsin company called Murfie, whose main business is to help customers burn and store their treasured CDs, vinyl records and tapes,media outlet The Verge reported. Customers were unable to contact the company, leading some to believe that their personal collections would be lost forever. Now, a start-up called Crossies has announced that it has bought Murfie’s assets in order to transfer the collection to a newly acquired warehouse in Arkansas.
In addition, Crossies is willing to return all of these discs. A man named John Fenley bought a large warehouse in Arkansas.
Fenley’s resume is a bit strange. He runs a 400-square-foot creative space in his hometown of Provo, Utah. He registered it on Itanimulli.com,the acronym for “illuminati”, and pointed it to the National Security Agency. He protested against the blockchain asset company NEM, claiming it cost him a lot of money. He once ran for mayor of Provo on a platform that disrupted the city. Ten years ago, he founded Crossies, a company that aims to store and burn customers’ music collections. But investors aren’t interested – until now.
For Fenley, acquiring Murfie seemed a momentary decision. After learning about the company, he contacted Murfie’s investors and flew to Madison. “I saw this article and I immediately purchased a ticket to Wisconsin,” Fenley told The Verge in December.
He negotiated back and forth with Murfie’s investors for weeks and threatened to give up if they delayed the deal. Eventually, about a month later, Murfie’s investors agreed to sell. Under the agreement obtained by The Verge, Murfie purchased Murfie for just $6,000 and paid an additional $2,000 in Murfie’s attorney’s fees. So far, he says, the deal has cost him a total of $25,000.
Murfie’s 930,000 discs are still in warehouses in Wisconsin. No one has been able to get into it since the landlord changed the lock some time ago, but Fenley says he will enter “very soon.”
When Crossies starts, it should provide essentially the same service as Murfie. It will digitize people’s audio CDs for high-fidelity cloud playback. Customers will mail their collections through packages, Crossies will burn and store them, and if subscribers continue to pay for storage, Crossies will retain their physical collections and allow them to trade with other users.
Murfie has been in operation for nearly a decade. But one day, without warning, Murfie customers discovered that the site was offline. They can no longer play music, and no one previously associated with the company, including its former CEO, can get in touch. Customers don’t know how their music collection is developing, and they can’t contact the company to get it back.
Fenley said he would return the missing disc to the claimant. He sent an email to Murfie customers on January 29, saying that “these discs will not be misallocated, intentionally destroyed or damaged in any way.” “
Those interested can start paying crossies to continue their services, Fenley wrote. He promised “small functional differences” and that the price structure, though different, could be affordable. “The service will have some new components and options, but your disc is still the disc and your music is still your music. “
However, it is not clear how long the operation will start and run. The company currently employs only Fenley and his father, and it’s unclear whether they plan or have the money to hire more employees.
Fenley has now purchased the warehouse. To expand his footprint in Utah’s small-scale manufacturer space, he bought space about 40 minutes south of Little Rock, Arkansas, to create “the world’s largest creator space.” He thought he could use it himself.
In a YouTube video released last year, Fenley shows the warehouse, which has been out of business for 15 years, and admits he still needs some finishing. “Some places are leaking and the power outlets aren’t connected, so it’s going to take some preparation to put things there,” Fenley told The Verge. “
Fenley runs Crossies with the help of his father. He said the money to buy Murfie and the warehouse came from money from real estate deals in Utah and some of his family’s personal savings. “I’m probably one of the most frugal people you’ve ever met,” he says. I took a bus near Madison. I don’t have a car rental. I think I know where to spend money, and this place costs some money. “
Although Fenley doesn’t know how long it will take to get the warehouse and Crossies fully operational, he wants to be transparent with customers throughout the process. The site has been launched and Fenley wants customers to be able to log in by the end of the week, although “streaming access may take longer to get up and running.” He also said the webcams in the warehouse allow people to check and focus on the progress of the renovations.
After the deal was struck, Allen Dines, executive adviser to Murphy investor WISC Partners, approached The Verge. “As can be seen from the concerns of Murfie’s customers, music ownership is still important to at least some people,” Dines wrote. I think people get more fun from music that they really care about than they get from simple clicks added to Spotify’s favorite music. “
Fenley believes he can succeed where Murfie failed, in part because he has his own storage facility and plans to reduce spending on cloud storage. “Because of the way I build things, I think I’m going to cost less than five percent of them,” says Fenley. “I can help achieve this. “