By Jon Newton 3/20/06
X number of punters are willing to pay $US1 and more for inferior 'product' (as the members of the Big Four Organized Music cartel) call their low-fidelity, low-quality, formulaic downloads.
The files are worth cents, not dollars, but a small number of people pay up, maintaining the industry fiction that there's an active, online corporate music business.
If you're among them, and even if you're not, you may be interested to know Smithsonian Global Sound (SGS) is selling 99 cent-a-go downloads which are actually worth the money.
Launched in February 2005, SGS initially offers almost the entire Folkways and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings collections and the holdings of two regional archives: the International Library of African Music (ILAM), in Grahamstown, South Africa, and the Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology (ARCE), in New Delhi, India.
"Expansion of educational offerings and user groups and partnerships with other archives around the world are anticipated with the growth and success of SGS. Please continue to visit the site for updates and new features," says the web site.
Geographic areas covered include Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Oceania and The Americas.
Featured artists include the truly amazing Joseph Spence (1910-1984) from the Bahamas, a guitar player and singer whose raw, untutored (to put it mildly ; ) style is like no other.
Never in a million years would you hear the likes of Spence on a Big Four release.
Even better, SGS, "helps encourage local musicians and traditions around the planet through international recognition, the payment of royalties, and support for regional archives".
This is what online music is all about, not the venal, dog-eat-dog world of the Big Four, Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, who've decided the best way to get people to buy their CRAP, cookie-cutter 'product' is to sue them into it.
Jon Newton is the editor of p2pnet.net and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.
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