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Musicians and distributors are tapping into consumer anger to rewrite rules of music industry amid financial turmoil. GarageBand.com is one example. Once just a community of online musicians, it is now becoming Internet's answer to a record label as well, one that leaves much of power--and selection process--in hands of musicians.
So far, digital music movement has been a double-edged sword for artists. Newcomers and struggling musicians find Internet to be a revolutionary way to produce and distribute their own music, bypassing major record labels. The Internet can provide what every musician needs to be successful--exposure. Without exposure, no one buys CDs, attends concerts or purchases T-shirts, ball caps, beer mugs and posters sold by artists.
On other hand, some artists have reacted negatively to online music, fearing a drastic reduction in royalty payments from CD sales and losses of other revenue.
Whether you support idea of music downloading or not, there is no turning back. As of end of 2004, 200 million songs were downloaded that year--a tenfold increase from previous year. And courts have ruled that file sharing software is NOT illegal, in and of itself.
While major legitimate online music services like iTunes Music Store, EMusic, and Napster 2.0, with deals from major record labels, carry between 700,000 and 1 million songs, Internet upstarts like GarageBand.com already claim an expanding library of 1.8 million songs available for free.
Whether you use a subscription site and buy your tunes, or search out free music on Web, there is no doubt that entire music world has been radically changed by Internet and advent of digital music.
So get online, download your favorite tunes, turn up volume, and "let good times roll."
Larry Denton is a retired history teacher having taught 33 years at Hobson High in Hobson, Montana. He is currently V.P. of Elfin Enterprises, Inc., an Internet business providing valuable information on a variety of timely topics. For a recording studio full of information, resources and suggestions about music downloads, visit http://www.MusicDownloadHere.com