Sonic Boom: Napster, MP3, and the New Pioneers of Music
Digital compression technologies such as MP3 and Napster are having an explosive impact on the way music is distributed. Every day, hundreds of thousands of music files are searched for, shared, recorded, and listened to by computer and Web users-all free of charge. It's a boon for consumers and a disaster for record companies, and the end result can be nothing less than a cultural and economic transformation. Sonic Boom is a fascinating narrative of the controversy that's sending shock waves through the music industry. It's the story of musicians such as the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, who are reaching fans without record company support; entrepreneurs who are distributing MP3 files without licensing agreements; and record-industry executives who are fighting for their business at every turn. It reveals how, even as the star-maker machinery of record companies remains in the hands of the old guard, innovators are finding ways to outsmart it. Peopled with a sensational cast of characters that includes rock stars, music moguls, teenagers, and Internet entrepreneurs, Sonic Boom exposes the recording industry's plight as a fascinating microcosm of the vast cultural, ethical, and legal issues that all industries face in the information age.
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