Thanks for the informed posted Mike.....came across to me as upbeat and realistically positive.
The leaf post is inspiring for me and I hope others......artist & music lover!
I have great faith in the cd format and do not see its demise until something physically better comes along......itunes & mp3's are not the toll of its death bell. I choose Option #1
To further this discussion.......below is part of a Robert Rich interview that Mike posted a link to recently on this forum. A great artist's perspective.
Synth ME: How has the Internet impacted your work both in content and context? How are you approaching the uncharted future as an artist?
Robert: Of course, we live in a quickly changing and contradictory landscape of info-culture. I happily adapted to the Web quite early, and I have held my own domain names since 1996. It's a blessing for independent artists like me to be able to control our own image, our own distribution, and to be able to contact listeners directly. In this regard, the Internet is a tool of empowerment. I love the fact that people can share their own music with each other immediately.
On the other hand, the ease with which people can share free bootlegs has undercut not just the mainstream music business, but also the independent scene. It has rendered the music disposable in many people's minds, which can get discouraging for someone who spends a year or more on a new release. People don't realize that someone like me might only sell a thousand copies of an album, compared to tens of thousands of free copies shared. I console myself that file-sharing is a form of marketing, and that the people who get the music for free would not have purchased it anyway. The only way to survive in "free culture" is to remain enough well-liked by the listeners who follow one's artwork that they *want* to pay for music as a show of support, as a vote of confidence. Without those few supportive listeners, it would get rather discouraging.
So while independent musicians are empowered with greater visibility, and novices have a better chance of getting heard by a handful of people, we are simultaneously rendered incapable of sustaining ourselves financially through recordings. Artists have become marginalized in a propaganda battle between "free culture" proponents and their perceived nemesis the "recording industry." This means we artists have to find different ways of surviving, whether by keeping a day job, or by repurposing our art. For these reasons and others, I think music is becoming increasingly subservient to image, as more musicians rely on "work for hire" corporate jobs like sound design for film, television, computer gaming, and other multi-media outlets that remain commercially viable in this information-saturated culture.