FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Albums on Memory Cards: Rockin' or Rock-Headed?

The recording industry's latest attempt to come to terms with technology has arrived in the form of albums on memory cards. Virgin Records is releasing the Rolling Stones' latest album, A Bigger Bang, on "Gruvi" memory cards from SanDisk.

The card contains an encrypted version of the album, plus additional tracks from past Stones albums that can be unlocked for an added fee. None of the tracks can be copied to a PC or MP3 player, or shared with other listeners. Such limitation -- combined with the card's cost ($39.95) -- is certain to limit the memory card's appeal.

RELATED: As if record execs didn't have enough to keep them up at night these days, there's buzz about an unsigned band out of Brooklyn and Philadelphia called Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Despite not having a record label, Clap has sold 17,000 copies of their self-released debut album. Even more impressive, Clap earns approximately $8 per disc -- far more than the typical signed artist, who makes only $1 per disc. This, combined with the chatter they're benefitting from online, reduces any incentive bands like Clap would have to seek out a traditional record label.

Source: AP (Excite)