See Brian Livingston's article in the Dec. 7 InfoWorld. Here is
Quoting briefly from the article:
> Windows software could render your audio CDs obsolete
> Stop! Don't buy another audio CD until you have read the rest of
> this column. Windows software is making big changes in the way
> we buy, store, and play back music in our offices and homes.
> The force behind this change is a music compression standard known
> as MP3. With the growth of the Internet, musicians around the world
> who don't have a contract with a recording label are converting their
> best tunes to the digital MP3 format and distributing them free as
> a method of promotion. ...
Thousands of such songs are now available on the Web. Anyone can
play these selections on any multimedia computer equipped with speakers
and software, such as the Microsoft Media Player that comes with
This underground music movement might have remained unknown to most
consumers if it weren't for a lawsuit filed by the Recording Industry
Association of America (RIAA). The suit, filed against San Jose,
Calif.-based Diamond Multimedia, was an attempt to stop Diamond from
distributing a $200 pager-size MP3 player called Rio.
Using a parallel port adapter (with a pass-through for a printer), you
download MP3 files from a PC into Rio's memory. The device plays an
hour or two of music through headphones or speakers. It's the ultimate
in portable music enjoyment.
[ It seems inevitable that the technology to store and transport
[ music is getting cheaper and cheaper. Doomsday seers predicted
[ economic peril for the recording industry when the consumer elec-
[ tronics industry first brought us portable 78-rpm disc recorders
[ and wire recorders (remember them?!), followed by magnetic tape
[ and Philips cassette recorders, and so on.
[ This is just the next generation of recording and Internet
[ technology to arrive. I don't consider it evil, and I hope
[ RIAA loses this lawsuit, bigtime -- I think it's frivolous.
[ I do hope that the coming micro-commerce transactions can address
[ the royalty fee issues satisfactorily, so that a wider amount of
[ material is on the 'net. The underground isn't a threat if you
[ can buy the music legitimately, at a reasonable price.
[ It seems that the record stores better get involved in this pro-
[ actively or they are going to be like the dinosaurs: extinct !