Recording - November 2009 - 64

Charging a blanket fee is highly unfeasible because of (a) the availability of encryption (which makes it hard to control what data users are downloading); and (b) the fact that we are slowly moving towards a free wireless internet access world where people might no longer even need to have a contract with a specific ISP. If, as some advocate, we could establish the absolute identity of the user, it might become possible to charge based on bandwidth usage, but aside from the great online privacy/security implications, I think this solution is also impractical because there are bandwidth-intensive uses some of us already pay for (think Netflix on-demand subscriptions), and there are users (for example photographers/video makers) who stream, upload, download and share huge files without ever infringing on a single copyright. Most likely, while all these old-school players are busy fighting amongst each other, somebody like Google (who incidentally has been quietly Guest editorial by Marc Urselli The New Now of Music The future of the music business is uncertain and exciting. We would probably draw larger benefits from old-school business models and yet I am very aware of the fact that it is never going to be like it was—ever again. I came to an alarming realization: major players and their lawyers haven’t yet understood how radically everything has changed and are still hoping to find ways to monetize the sale of music. Meanwhile, everything keeps moving towards the point of no return (old business model = 100% obsolete). In fact, I think we have passed that point of no return—this change has happened and there is no turning back. Whether storage will be cloud-based or personal/mobile, ubiquitous infinite storage will soon be available, which means that even if there were subscription-based total-catalog music services, future generations would probably still choose to steal and store rather than pay and stream. Simple reason: new generations perceive it as getting, not stealing, and that’s how they are growing up. As a professional audio engineer I have great appreciation for high-quality audio, but unfortunately, today’s generation is unable to discern and doesn’t care about quality. They only care about free. Surveys show that people are not willing to pay for music anymore because they have gotten used to free instant access. This is the new now. I believe that invoking the help of the Internet Service Providers to regulate distribution of music by charging blanket fees for having access to music downloads won’t work either. ISPs aren’t even subscribing to the three-strikes-and-out policy lobbied by record companies because they are afraid of losing subscribers.RECORDING NOVEMBER 2009 snatching up fiber-optical properties, licenses and companies) will probably suddenly “solve” the problem of how to put the ‘m’ of ‘money’ back into the word ‘music’. Once bandwidth won’t be a problem anymore, the move will probably be from desktop/laptop computing to total mobile net-computing (cloud, anyone?). The people in control of the internet’s bandwidth will be the people in control of the access to the cloud, in control of information and in control of the world. As for me, if there was a service which gave me (1) all the music of the world and gave it to me in (2) high quality and gave it to me (3) everywhere and (4) at all times (even when there is no network), I would pay for such service. I care about music, I care about the quality of the music, I work in the music business and I am old—barely 32 but, let’s face it, that makes me old! I highly doubt that there will ever be a service like that, therefore infinite personal/portable storage is probably more realistic at this point. I believe we have to accept that music distribution can just not be controlled any longer and that from yesterday on music is (to be) considered a free commodity. We need to find out how to trade free and make money at it (Wired editor Chris Anderson wrote an entire book about the concept of “Free”). I would like to offer my own personal opinion on what will soon be the only ways to make money in music. Of course there are other theories and possibilities, but I think it will boil down to: 1. Filtering/Distribution Services: There will be a big need to catalog and filter all music accurately and beyond ID3 tags. Accessing millions of songs is no joke and this presents a great opportunity for new business models and ideas. I believe this might be one important aspect of how the music industry will evolve and adapt. 2. Live Music: I think/believe/hope that there might be a huge comeback of concerts, because they cannot be replaced, stolen or downloaded. Sure there’s YouTube, but it will never be the same as actually being there. Blood, sweat, tears and the enthusiasm and emotions that you can feel at a great live show are not digitally reproducible. Wherever the music industry will go, I believe there will always be a place for live music and that sector (marketing, promotion, venues, managers and agents) will grow. Of course everything remains to be seen and I am just speculating, along with everyone else, but these are the reasons why I think the currently discussed plans to salvage the old music industry are not practical. We should just stop thinking of the old music industry altogether and start inventing the new now of music. Marc Urselli (urselli@recordingmag.com) is a Grammy-winning recording engineer and producer working in New York. Learn more about his projects at www.marcurselli.com.
http://www.marcurselli.com

Recording - November 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - November 2009

Recording - November 2009
Fade In
Contents
Talkback
Fast Forward
Les Paul Speaks
Cakewalk SONAR V-Studio 700
The Hybrid Guitar Recording Method—A Modern Way of Tracking Serious Tones, Part 1
Radial JDX and Phazer
Shure SM27 and SM137 Microphones
Eventide PitchFactor
Recording’s Guitar Column
Lexicon I•ONIX U42S RecordingInterface
Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
Readers’ Tapes
Vibesware GR-1 Guitar Resonator
BOSS ME-70 Guitar Multiple Effects
Line 6 BackTrack and BackTrack + Mic
Advertiser Index
Fade Out
Recording - November 2009 - Recording - November 2009
Recording - November 2009 - Cover2
Recording - November 2009 - 1
Recording - November 2009 - Fade In
Recording - November 2009 - 3
Recording - November 2009 - Contents
Recording - November 2009 - 5
Recording - November 2009 - Talkback
Recording - November 2009 - 7
Recording - November 2009 - Fast Forward
Recording - November 2009 - 9
Recording - November 2009 - 10
Recording - November 2009 - 11
Recording - November 2009 - Les Paul Speaks
Recording - November 2009 - 13
Recording - November 2009 - 14
Recording - November 2009 - 15
Recording - November 2009 - Cakewalk SONAR V-Studio 700
Recording - November 2009 - 17
Recording - November 2009 - 18
Recording - November 2009 - 19
Recording - November 2009 - 20
Recording - November 2009 - 21
Recording - November 2009 - 22
Recording - November 2009 - 23
Recording - November 2009 - The Hybrid Guitar Recording Method—A Modern Way of Tracking Serious Tones, Part 1
Recording - November 2009 - 25
Recording - November 2009 - 26
Recording - November 2009 - 27
Recording - November 2009 - 28
Recording - November 2009 - 29
Recording - November 2009 - 30
Recording - November 2009 - 31
Recording - November 2009 - Radial JDX and Phazer
Recording - November 2009 - 33
Recording - November 2009 - Shure SM27 and SM137 Microphones
Recording - November 2009 - 35
Recording - November 2009 - Eventide PitchFactor
Recording - November 2009 - 37
Recording - November 2009 - Recording’s Guitar Column
Recording - November 2009 - 39
Recording - November 2009 - Lexicon I•ONIX U42S RecordingInterface
Recording - November 2009 - 41
Recording - November 2009 - Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
Recording - November 2009 - 43
Recording - November 2009 - 44
Recording - November 2009 - 45
Recording - November 2009 - 46
Recording - November 2009 - 47
Recording - November 2009 - 48
Recording - November 2009 - 49
Recording - November 2009 - Readers’ Tapes
Recording - November 2009 - 51
Recording - November 2009 - Vibesware GR-1 Guitar Resonator
Recording - November 2009 - 53
Recording - November 2009 - BOSS ME-70 Guitar Multiple Effects
Recording - November 2009 - 55
Recording - November 2009 - Line 6 BackTrack and BackTrack + Mic
Recording - November 2009 - Advertiser Index
Recording - November 2009 - 58
Recording - November 2009 - 59
Recording - November 2009 - 60
Recording - November 2009 - 61
Recording - November 2009 - 62
Recording - November 2009 - 63
Recording - November 2009 - Fade Out
Recording - November 2009 - Cover3
Recording - November 2009 - Cover4
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