As Joyce Brite says in the 031215 MMD, Media Mail is a real bargain
postal rate, and I've wondered why the clerks at my post office branch
aren't more suspicious of what gets claimed as eligible for the Media
Mail (a.k.a. Book Rate) mailing rate. But I suspect most senders
aren't aware of its existence or its value. Media Mail packages are
charged solely by weight, not by distance plus weight, as other parcel
post packages are, and the per-pound rate is very low. Media Mail is
cheaper than regular parcel post, except for short-distance mailings.
Music rolls qualify for the Media Mail rate as "sound recordings."
(Joyce's quote from the USPS omits an important comma in the wording
"... printed test materials, sound recordings, ..." which she quotes
from the USPS web site.)
As I recall, Play-Rite or maybe Ray Siou or QRS (anyway, it was one of
the big mailers of music rolls) received a ruling from the Postmaster
General's office that music rolls qualify as sound recordings. It
might be worth a look in the USPS's "Domestic Rate Manual," available
at any post office substation, to see if the Media Mail section is
annotated to such effect. If not, I'm sure Play-Rite's John Malone
(firstname.lastname@example.org) will be able to speak to the details of the
Postmaster General's ruling, should that become necessary.
Matthew Caulfield (Irondequoit, N.Y.)