While many lament the gradual dissapearance of brick and mortar music stores, new virtual store are popping up online. The fact is you can get lost in online music stores for many more hours now than you ever could flipping through stacks of a storeâ€™s records or CDs. While itâ€™s easy to think of Appleâ€™s iTunes as the beginning and end of online music, with 29 million unique vistors to its site in this years first quarter, with just a little exploration on the World Wide Web, the world reveals a thick stack of options for discovering and acquiring music.
Check out www.lala.com, where you can trade used CDs, buy discount new CDs, register for music and listen to Internet radio. Great way to get rid of all those CDs you have lying around and donâ€™t listen to anymore by swapping it for something currently you want. The site acts as a middleman to faciliate the exchange.
Or check out www.emusic.com, which is much like iTunes, but charges a monthly rate and offers a great selection specializing in independent music.
Or there is www.Pandora.com. The siteâ€™s â€œMusic Genome Projectâ€ analyzes thousands of songs to create radio stations for you based on what you say you like. Itâ€™s free.
Of course you can also check out La Blogotheque, a French music blog especially notable for Take Away Concerts; video of well known artists performing on the streets of Paris. Really quite cool.
But the hottest new trend is MP3 blog sites. These blogs post listenable and downloadable music, usually with commentary. Some you can check out include:
Can You See the Sunset From The Southside?
And then there is Daytrotter, which persuades touring bands to stop in Rock Island, IL, record some songs in a studio there and then posts the performances. Innovative and cool in its own right.
But with all this innovation some pure music lovers fear that something is being lost. With the fading of the physical product- the CD case and liner notes- will music feel less special? Will posting songs on music blogs with commentary turn into a new form of advertising and PR instead of for the purpose of enjoying the artists music? Can an artist really ever sell a collection of songs again or is the day of the â€œalbumâ€ truly gone?
It seems that only one thing is certain- things will continue to change and so will how we listen to and buy music.