You have to wonder sometimes whether or not the recording industry will ever figure this out, but the power of digital music to make a better, more informed and more willing to buy consumer seems completely lost on them. Andrew Leonard, over at Salon, has written a great essay on how the digitalization of music files has changed his music consumption habits. Note that he's not talking about downloading music from file sharing systems, but having the freedom to discover new music easily, obtain that music without too many hurdles, and then do with it what he wants. That's what's so powerful. While the industry is entirely focused on people "not paying" for music, they're missing the opportunity to engage all those who just want to be better music consumers. And, as Leonard points out, no matter how hard they try, the economics of supply and demand show that the industry will never win this battle. "Instead of trying to prevent me from enjoying my own music, the recording industry should be working as hard as it can to get everything online and available, cheaply. It should be making it easier for me to rip and burn to my heart's content. Because when I'm happy listening to music, it doesn't take much encouragement for me to spend more money."
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