Sometimes it seems so clear

when someone else says it.

A little background--I'm a fan of the Dallas Mavericks for some unknown reason, but I'm a bigger fan of Mark Cuban, their owner. So when I saw a link to his blog just a minute ago, I clicked on it, just out of curiosity. Then I came across this post about what the future of the music industry ought to be:

Then it occured to me, that I haven’t used my CD Player, portable or at home, in a long, long time. That I rarely, if ever see anyone walking around with a portable CD player anymore. They have all been replaced by MP3 players. If everyone is switching to MP3 players, whether they are Ipods, in phones, in PDAs, in cars, whatever, then that means that everyone is going to have to go through a multistep process in order to get the music from where or how they buy it, to the place they want it.

That’s not good for the people selling music. Particularly retail stores. Think about it. Apple has done such a great job of selling us on why we should store our musically digitally, that every one is either doing it, or on their way to doing it. Which means that 90 pct or more of music being sold is currently being sold on a physical format that the segment of the music buying public that spends the most amount of money on music doesn’t want. They are being sold CDs. They want to listen to their music from hard drives or flash drives. That’s a problem.


There is absolutely no reason I shouldn’t have been able to buy the song or CD I wanted from the FYE record store I was standing in side of , IPod in hand, ready to buy. If only I could just connect the thing and download the songs.

For less than 10k dollars, it would be EASY to put together a multi-terrabyte hard drive based multi-user kiosk that pretty much holds every song ever published. A screen to enter credit card information, swipe a debit card, enter a member number or call for assistance to handle a cash transaction, a couple USB ports, and wireless connection support to transfer the music, and you are in business. Check the music I want. From kiosk hard drive to my MP3 player at speeds that could easily do 400mbs. That beats the hell out of 250k if I’m lucky real throughput at home. It will be like going to the store to get digital prints from the camera is. Self Service, fast and easy.

You know, I think he's right. I listen to cds in Amy's truck, but at home, it's usually on the computer, and when I'm in public, it's on my mp3 player. I buy cds rarely for the same reason many people do--I don't have the money to drop twenty bucks on a cd with one song I like on it. But if there was a song I had to have, I'd drop a bone at a music shop for it. And talk about the impulse buy to beat all impulse buys, especially now that you can get mp3 player/cell phone combinations. We're in a portable world now, and the music industry better realize it.

UPDATE: I knew there was a reason I liked this guy--according to a post farther down the page, his company, HDNET, is the one releasing the film "Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room," which got raves from Ebert and Roeper this weekend.

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