Jon Udell has create a podcast he calls open source audio. In it, Job gives us a tour of the Internet Archives open source audio collection and introduces us to OddioKatya and other WebJay's. Jon asks the question:
What if there were a significantly large space of alternatively licensed music floating around on the Internet? Music that was explicitly intended to be shared.
One of the things that the music industry has failed to capitalize on is the kind of collective discovery that is one of the foundational pillars of blogging. Blogs are a way of building awareness around interesting ideas. Flickr is doing that with photos. There's no good way to do this with most music. When I was a kid, we spent countless hours talking about what music was good and playing it for our friends on our 8-track players (yes, I'm that old). My teenage son does the same thing now, with his local friends, but he has plenty of friends on the net as well and music isn't part of their collective experience. This is a huge opportunity wasted.
Jon also points to Chris Armstrong's Long Tail article from Wired. The idea is that Amazon and other Web sites enable sales of material that have a limited audience. I was out looking at sales rank at Amazon the other day to a number of books. Try it for some of the books in your library. I was fascinated to see how popular (or unpopular) some books are that I've loved.
Jon did a great job on this Podcast; its content is good and its well delivered. Listen to it.