that's 500 gigs right there in 256kbit mp3s, if you could get them, which you couldn't, because collectors don't screw around with lossy formats.
Then they are making a mistake. 256kbps is hardly lossy, unless you have exceptional ears and HiFi-equipment. And if they won't, their children will. Only physical destruction can prevent a work of music from being added to the digital pool.
'course, most people wouldn't care nearly enough to collect that much music... a terabyte or two apiece would probably do most people fine, for the audio files at least.
The point is, it only takes a few dedicated fans to collect the complete works of an artist, and it only needs to be collected once. Once you have artist collections, others will begin to maintain *genre* collections, and finally universal collections. All the ordinary music listener would need to do, if they have the storage, is to copy it.
Artists and companies could speed this process up, (and secure a nice, short term income), by selling official compilations.
We don't know the theoretical limit of data storage, but the 500 GB needed for Grateful Dead bootlegs is soon within range of ordinary users, and for most artists 1 or 2 GB is enough. In any case you should be able to fit all CDDB-registered CD's (610 000, 61000 GB with 100mb each) on 10 600GB disks within five years.
But that'll probably fill up pretty fast when they start trading movies.
Well, IMDB lists about 240 000 movies. Even as 1GB Mpeg4-files this is only four times the CDDB collection. TV-series might increase this by a factor of 100 to 1000, no more. Not a ludicrous goal within a century.
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