April 30, 2004

Thumbdrive Distribution [9:02 am]

Wired News: ‘Dude! This Thing Is Awesome!’

The technology is quite simple: The music fan goes up to the touch-screen kiosk after the show and buys the keychain drive with a credit card from a dispenser alongside the screen. Once that’s done, the miniature drive is inserted into a slot in the kiosk, and the recording — stored as MP3 files — is loaded onto the device’s 128-megabyte hard drive. That is enough space for 110 minutes of music.

A receipt for the transaction is sent to the concertgoer’s e-mail address.

“I can remember when I started the debate was whether the 45 or 33 would be more successful,” said Richard Gottehrer, author of hits like “My Boyfriend’s Back,” and “I Want Candy,” and chairman of The Orchard. “Now the Napsters of the world are yesterday’s news and this is the newer, legal, next step.”

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