Very true! Technology like FreeNet might help out in this area where things are uploaded with keys.
As far as I know, FreeNet as it is isn't searchable as it is constructed at the moment. But if you're talking about things like ID3 tags in which meta-data is included with digital music, then that is something which would be a help, but only to a certain extent - if I was being genre nazi I could name about 20 or 30 genres of trance or techno alone that I've heard used, but which in general mean very little. In the end, experimentation is the only way to be sure you like something.
You are then in the same boat that I am in. The TV/Radio examples were for the folks who actually listen to the types of music that get played there. I mention them because it is extremely relevant. We are a pretty small minority when it comes to the market scene out there. So our situation is much less of a meter to gauge trends by. I still think that it is useful to note that Gnutella/Napster/mp3.com have, for me, come to be what Radio/TV are to others.
Not so small a group over here in England thankfully :) If you're looking for new stuff try www.juno.co.uk, which lists all of the latest vinyl and CD releases over here and has MP3 clips for most of them. I know a few people that order most of their stuff off of juno.
What happens then? I'm not sure, but I can give an educated guess. Somehow music survived quite well on its own for thousands of years. Somehow artists were able to perform, ect ect. Without the so called benefits the modern era has befit upon us. Now, with my musical taste, I'm a little bit critical of modern music. Oh some great stuff has come out of it, don't get me wrong. I take one look at the sheer amount of glut that gets exposure and I have to wonder.
Oh yeah, even if purchase models entirely failed there'd still be people producing music for the love of it, but a lot of people would have to work instead, leaving them less or no time to produce - it takes a lot of time and effort to make music...
I doubt it'd weed out the chaff - I think it'd hit artists across the quality specrtum, leaving us with pretty much the same percentage of quality, but far less of it. Then again, I doubt it'd hit the sort of stuff we listen to quite as hard due to the (relatively) cheap costs of making it.
I'm not saying that things will go back to the way they used to be. I don't think that is ever possible. I feel that by the time the physical media is obsolete, music will be something far beyond what we have now. Most likely tied directly to sensory information and such.
If I take the right chemicals, I find that music can already be linked directly to my senses in a thoroughly enjoyable way :)
You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
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