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Many, including myself, have said that the rapidly falling price of silicon-based storage will make the fight over next-generation DVD nearly moot. Why buy a disk when you can download it? The necessary supporting technology, bandwidth, is also continuing to mature. Music sold on USB flash is an interesting side note, as falling flash prices will make this method an excellent promotional tool. Any storage media for entertainment that can’t fit in your pocket is doomed anyway.

I doubt it will replace the CD anytime soon, but some record labels are experimenting with distributing music on portable USB flash drives. The latest in this occasional trend is The White Stripes, whose Icky Thump album is available in both traditional CD form as well as in a limited edition USB thumb drive format.

Now, the flash drive version sells for $57, well more than the $15 price tag of the CD. That means that only die-hard fans will likely buy the drive versions, which depict the band’s Jack White and Meg White as Russian dolls. (Those who need both Jack and Meg will have to shell out $99.)

There have been other releases, such as the recent 30th anniversary Bob Marley Exodus album. The Barenaked Ladies released a couple of albums in this format a couple of years back

Considering that you can pick up 32 MB of pocket flash for eight bucks, the prices for this kind of thing has to fall as well.



  1. Steve S says:

    #26 (and #28, #29)
    Noam Sane,
    MP3 music at mid-to-high bit rates may not be adequate for your ear, but I bet it is good enough for many, if not most people as evidenced by the huge proliferation of MP3 music.
    There are those that may argue DVDs and regular definition TVs are vastly inferior to Blu-Ray/HD-DVD and HD TVs, but many consumers are perfectly happy with their “older” technology.
    Many people just either can’t see/hear that much of a difference or it isn’t important to them. Never underestimate the marketing power of “good enough”.

  2. GregA says:

    Music fans listen to the song. Audiophiles listen to their stereo.

  3. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #35 – Well… That’s true…

    Seriously, what the hell good is it to have $60,000 wrapped up in a home theater system if your favorite movie is The Fast and The Furious?

  4. smartalix says:

    35,

    That’s why I stepped off that particular level treadmill years ago. I still have good stuff, but I don’t use isolation dampers filled with iguana pineal gland extract to reduce stray ether anomalies.

  5. Noam Sane says:

    Steve S –

    As I said, I have thousands of MP3s…and they are plenty good to my ear, most of the time (I pipe 3000 of them through ITunes, in shuffle mode, to various radios in my house using the RocketFM USB transmitter).

    But really well-recorded music, and just about all jazz music, listened to on a decent stereo, is simply painful in MP3 form.

    But your point is well taken.


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