Some Thoughts on iTunes and the Music Industry

I was talking to a friend last week about a new feature in the new iPod that is being more or less kept secret out in the open, a feature overshadowed by its new gadget-porn video capabilities. While everyone is going gaga for the fact that music videos, porn, and television shows are available watch on the tiny, high-def screens of the new iPods (why anyone needs to watch things this much is beyond me- attention is labor, and you’re signing yourself up for lots less downtime with video on your person), another feature was added that few are talking about- the new iPods can record in full stereo.
Time to throw away those portable DAT recorders, everyone. Podcasting is the new bootlegging.
With iTunes set up to suck podcasts down from the web now, with the very popular iPod highly and firmly installed in an eager consumer base, and with the digital method of music delivery taking more and more power away from the giant, vampiric middle men that are the music industry (an industry that doesn’t produce music so much as it does a paid bureaucracy that, in the end, really isn’t that into music) and giving it to the artists to produce, niche market, and publicize themselves, Apple may very well have set itself in the position as one of the sole entities existent in the music industry once all the majors collapse. As people and artists become more tech-savvy and realize they don’t need the labels, iTunes will be there, still, with its handy podcasting capabilities and the viral nature of bootlegs spreading out across the web building artists’ popularity. Not a label, but profiting as a distribution point. There won’t be an absolute need to use iTunes, but the iPod will be indispensable. In one version of the future, Apple could be all that is left of the music industry.

Now: Playing

Not About Love

from the album “Extraordinary Machine” by

Fiona Apple

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