Last Sunday my wife LeAnne and I performed the music in a small equinox service at our church. We performed several songs for guitar, Native American Flute, and ocarina.
Yesterday I set up an account on CD Baby which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite music sites. Music downloads come down as Zip files which include DRM-free MP3s, album art, etc. I downloaded three CDs including one from an artist I hadn't heard of before, Alan Miceli, an acoustic guitarist and composer from Canada. I love the way he plays guitar: relaxing, pure, inspirational. The next day I got a thank you email from Alan directly. Very cool.
It occurs to me that as MP3 players make listening to music an increasingly private experience, many of the social pressures to listen to popular music are becoming less important. If the popularity of an artist becomes less relevant, tools that help you find artists you might like to listen are becoming more important. The future is moving towards all the music in the world being available to all the listeners in the world. Listeners also want to be able to connect to the artists they listen to. Let businesses compete to provide the best music search tools, but the days of big corporate music collections being available only through narrow channels are numbered.