Wishful Thinking At The WaPo

A dream world is described in this article. One of two dreams, of course:

  1. The infinitely flexible digital distribution, entirely under the control of the purchaser or
  2. The infinitely constrained DRMed digital distribution, entirely under the control of the seller

The article purports to describe the first, but I expect that the record companies will aim for the second, since the elimination of the CD means the end of ripping.

What do you think the article is trying to achieve? 10 Million iPods, Previewing the CD’s End [pdf]

With tonight’s 47th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles drawing attention to the ever-shifting world of the recording arts, Petersen and many other music-biz insiders agree that, in the next decade or so, the CD will very likely be surpassed as the album format of choice.

“The new format is no format,” predicted [George] Petersen, a 24-year industry veteran who also owns a record label, a recording studio and a music-publishing company. “What the consumer would buy is a data file, and you could create whatever you need. If you want to make an MP3, you make an MP3. If you want a DVD-Audio surround disc, you make that.”

“We’re moving beyond the media stage to the delivery stage,” agreed Mitch Gallagher, 41-year-old editor of EQ, a San Mateo, Calif.-based magazine for music producers. At some point, he said, “you won’t have something to hold in your hand” until you transfer a data file to a blank disc or tape.

“We can make our own plastic,” Petersen said. “I’ve been thinking this is what should happen for years, but it’s actually the way we’re going anyway.”

Think “Dark Side of the Moon” as an invisible cyberswirl of 1’s and 0’s. No CD case. No liner notes to flip through. No . . . nothing.

Your preferred music star could provide a myriad of songs, bonus cuts, commentary, videos, album art, you name it. You, however, would have ultimate power: which songs stay, which songs are deleted, which songs go where.

Slashdot: The Death of the Music CD