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One of the most exciting and innovative ways to get music these days is not in the mall and not at a huge mega electronic store, it's not even by a mail order CD club, it sits right on a desk and can allow you access to almost any kind of music available right in our home. Technology is changing the way we listen to music now downloading an MP3 from the Internet is as easy if not a lot easier than going to the store and buying the CD. An MP3 is a near CD quality digital recording of a musical piece that is compressed so it can be distributed through the internet. It seems the high prices, new technology, and a big one is availability are causing most music lovers to turn to the internet to lister to their music. It's convenient to search a database for a song you've been wanting to hear by your favorite artist, download it, and copy it on to a CD. More and more people are doing this because with the help of search engines it's possible to find any song imaginable and download it for free. What most people don't realize is that the reproduction of a musical work, distribution of copies of a musical piece, and the public performance of the work without the copyright owner's consent are all violations of copyright laws. However, they do know that getting caught for the is very unlikely. Catching people who violate copyright laws is very hard to find out just who is a fault. Is it the web site promoting pirated music or is it the user who downloads it? Do to digital audio compression technologies and using special software that is readily available and free on the internet, one can download a MPEG 1 layer 3 or MP3 for short, play the music on there computer and with read/write CD's, even make a CD of there own. That would mean people can from there own home create illegal copies of the copyrighted material at or near industrial compact disc quality. Now they even have portable MP3 players so you don't even have to burn a CD, you can just download it to the player were it stores it digitally. Being so convenient and easy to do with such minimal risk of being punished the MP3 is destined to get bigger and bigger.
The reason I bring this up is because this could be the biggest thing to happen to music seance the record. With MP3's comes probably thousands of artists that no longer have to wait for an agent, scout or label to pick them up. Through the internet they will be able to become there own label no longer need the support of a big record company to get there music to an audience. This is already being done by all kinds of artists on the net, some even have there clubs online where you pay a fee to get in much like a cover at a bar and you get to hear the music of all the bands that are playing at that club that night. This does understandably have record company's scared of going out of business. What would that be like? No record company's. A time where every artist is there own label and distributor. This would be good and bad on the economy in a variety of ways. The first would probability be the retail end of the industry, they would no longer need the long aisle filled with tapes and CD's instead they would be forced to make up the profits in selling blank CD's for much less and selling MP3 software. The second would be the record company's, by not being able to sell the highly marked up CD's they would have to become resourceful to survive. Finding way's to make money off CD's or the software would be essential for the label's to compete. The third would be the consumer, having the convent MP3's ready to download to your computer at any time with any song would be a major advantage of getting into it. People would no longer have to be deprived of music because of availability or cost.
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Digital audio, MP3, MP3 player, Portable media player, Copyright law, Michael Robertson, Online music store
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