The Wall Street Journal on the re-ordering of the music recording industry

The Wall Street Journal today has an interesting piece on how international record companies are gradually accommodating themselves to the fact of digital technology. As it puts it:

But after suing some 35,000 music fans for illegally downloading songs, music honchos decided not to sue the more than seven million others. Instead, the industry has concluded that if it can’t beat them, it might as well join them in enjoying the benefits of technology. This marks a milestone in what might be called the Great Unbundling.

I was dead scared for a few years that this might happen too early. What frightened me was the thought that the CD would be replaced as the primary music distribution medium by MP3 or similar downloads. Imagine if most music could only be obtained as a digital track compressed with a lossy CODEC.

Now, though, I think that there will be sufficient bandwidth (and portable player space) to allow lossless compression systems to be used. Perhaps at a premium over the standard AAC or WMA version, but I wouldn’t mind that.

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