If you are in any doubt about the impact of current technology on the music business, then you should listen carefully to some recent Country Music lyrics. The title track from Alabama's aptly named new album "Twentieth Century" contains the line, "...in 1900, who'd a bet we'd all be surfing on the Internet". Check out Alabama's Web site Keith Glass wrote for his album "Southerly Buster". The song is a tale of infidelity, not in a honky-tonk bar, but in an Internet chat room!
Final proof: It's hard to imagine "son of a son of a sailor" Jimmy Buffett using any Net except a Fishing net, while sailing around Key West. Sure enough, in his song "Flesh and Bone" he confesses that he's "a carbon based caveman honey, just flesh and bone". In this unlikely love song he tells his Internet girl, "I can't e-mail my heart, I can't see your face in cyberspace". However, you can see Jimmy's face in cyberspace at Radio Margaritaville. In July his Web site broadcast every show of his "Beach House on the Moon" tour live, and in August, Radio Margaritaville Television (RMTV) broadcast every show with live pictures. "Beach House on the Moon" is the title of Jimmy's new album which contains not only 13 great new tracks in his inimitable style, but a video that can be viewed on your personal computer. The video features a behind the scenes look at the making of the album and some live footage from a performance at the Magaritaville Club. There must be a few "tech-heads" amongst the "Parrotheads", that's for sure!
At the recent 4th National Entertainment Industry Conference in Sydney, produced by IMMEDIA!, two facts became clear. Firstly, despite all the publicity and hype surrounding the Internet, on-line music sales have not yet made a huge impact. Secondly, that will all change, very soon and dramatically. While independent artists have been the early adopters of the benefits of Internet technology, the major labels are now preparing to flex their multi-national muscle. EMI have finalised a deal with Liquid Audio to encode their music catalogue to prepare it for digital downloads. Universal and BMG have formed an alliance to launch an online music store called Getmusic.com, while CDNow have merged with giants Sony and Time Warner. It is just a matter of time until the SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) settle on accepted formats to protect the copyright owners of music, and then 'digital music' on demand will become a reality.
Don't forget to listen out for Cowboys in Cybersp@ce
each month on the radio waves with Belinda Miller of
Murri Country , 4AAA –FM (98.9 in Brisbane).
If you want to share the location of an interesting site you’ve seen or request a topic for discussion in future columns, why not E-mail me. Until next month, happy surfing.
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