06. 21. 2006
Alice Wang gets behind the solid state music
We rockstars have accepted that music distribution will move to some type of solid state storage in the next decade, but the standard for that medium has yet to be set. Alice Wang thought long and hard about what consumers may see, and her Audio Sticks could be the packaging and presentation that we buy in the next decade. Her amalgams of hardcopy purchase and digital convenience are USB thumb drives wrapped in the album art. The concept is a very provocative piece that forces an examination of how a change in technology will affect the way we deal with recorded music.
Letís break this disco down to the individual steps. The music publishing industry is likely to embrace a distribution media that allows for such rights management niceties as encryption and password auth; but initial costs of distributing solid state memory will be much higher than producing a compact disc. Those prices will come down as the major labels and consumers strike a balance between price and fair use.
The user would receive portability and durability. If properly implemented, read-only chips could give the scene what it lost when vinyl died: consistent tone over the long run. Masked ROM chips are amazingly resistant to corruption, and a solid state method could offer me the archival storage that I desire for my media. I like knowing that my old records will still spin in fifty years, and I would love to have the same protection for my digital purchases.
Thanks to Josh Spear for sending this in.