Best Records 

Comfortable browsing

Buying CDs and shopping for them are distinctly different. At least, that's what we've thought, and we think Arkansas Times readers are seeing it our way. If you know what you're looking for, Best Buy (up until this year the regular favorite CD-buying destination for readers) is the place to go with its vast selection over all music genres and overall the best pricing. But, shopping for CDs is best accomplished at Barnes & Noble, this year's winner for best place to buy recorded music. Would you want to browse new books in a casino? That's how most CD stores tend to be, blaring hip-hop and other loud noise, but Best Buy with its cacophony of media sound takes the cake. The quieter browsing in Barnes & Noble and its computer catalog that allows listeners to hear clips of every song on nearly every CD on sale (we've only found one CD in our many visits that wasn't on the database) undisturbed - plus experienced, dependable informed help behind the counter - has made B&N on Financial Center/Chenal Parkway our first stop in CD shopping for some time. The good news for Central Arkansas CD shoppers is that Barnes & Noble has opened a second store, on McCain Boulevard in North Little Rock, with all the same listener-friendly advantages.

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