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Byline: Jeremy Boyer
Aug. 11--COLONIE, N.Y.--Tim Freligh visits Mr. Bill's CDs on Route 9 every few months, hoping to find an addition or two for his collection of oldies music. The 49-year-old Niskayuna resident has no interest in trying to find songs or albums on the Internet.
"I like the idea of owning the original music," he said last week while browsing the store, which is near the Latham Traffic Circle. "And this early rock and roll is pretty hard to come by. You have to come to these places to be able to find it."
Unfortunately for the store in Latham, the number of customers like Freligh has been dwindling. A combination of factors that includes the rise of music downloading over the Internet, the proliferation of CD copying, and new competition from nonmusic retailers has reduced sales by 20 percent over the past two years at Mr. Bill's -- and independent music stores throughout the country are feeling a similar pinch.
"Everyone's hurting as far as I can tell," said Bill Guarneri, who was running Mr. Bill's one afternoon last week for his wife, Dianne, who owns the 6-year-old store. "I don't know what's going to happen."
That uncertainty is typical these days, said Don …