NTK -- My Media Studies students are assembling a trendbook that contains snippets of interesting data on CD and digital artefacts from their geek drawers. Initial nominated content includes a lot of MP3 files. If I follow the stream of nominations, I will end up building an electronic collection that mirrors favs ripped from playlists. It reminds me of the first time I saw a German BBS operator copying software on 5¼ diskettes for posting to friends in Japan. In the 1980s, Deutsche Post was a broadband service provider. Post it and your megs arrived faster and in better condition than through the Telekom dialup.
On their own, students have figured out how to mask music inside Photoshop images, Word documents and Zip archives. All the service provider can do is constrain space.
Space just got cheaper. USB memory keys dangle from necks like 50 cent diamonds. Irish newspapers tout computers with 100GB drives, more than enough to store the music favourites of an average student. A terabyte on its own costs EUR 900 from Irish suppliers. IBM says its TB storage drives will ring in at EUR 500 next Christmas.
According to Danny O'Brien¹, "by 2008, you will be able to store every piece of music ever recorded, and more, for $1000." That's a terrible thought for the RIAA, because that kind of easy collection and replication means the music industry will have to fight "the free distribution of its entire crown jewels, contained in a single, easily replicable item: an item that as soon as any of your friends score a copy, you will potentially never have to buy a back-catalogue song again."
If the proposed TOC for the digital trendbook is any guide, the party has started.
¹Danny O'Brien -- "PC storage surge could send music sector off key" in Wired on Friday, 7 Nov 03