Thursday, November 20, 2003


The other night I went and bought the latest Beatle's CD. I started to wonder just how much longer a trip to the store to purchase a physical item containing recorded music will be something we do. I download individual songs now. It is only when I'm interested in the entire CD and the price is right (Let It Be.... Naked was 11.98) that I still purchase a CD. If the physical carrier goes away what are we left to catalog and how will we provide access?

I'm not a music cataloger, but I'd treat the CD as a work and include a 505 for each song. In the virtual world songs would become divorced from the work, they would become the work. Would musicians even release a group of songs or just release them as they finish each? There would be no need for them to group songs and they would have no control as to the order of presentation. An album like Pet Sounds or Dark Side of the Moon would not be possible. Cataloging these individual pieces would be about 12 time the amount of work. Will we even do it, or just pass off the access issues to iTunes and the like? I'll miss the liner notes and cover art, but those would be unnecessary in the world of on-line music.

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