Book review: Stephen Witt: How Music Got Free (2015, 2016).

This purports to be the story of the last twenty years of the record industry, told by one of the kids who collected MP3s in his college dorm just before Napster. It isn’t the story of the MP3 revolution, but it is some stories, only one of which is seriously important to the claim in the title. But the details mostly aren’t wrong.

Read More

Today’s links.

“Happy Birthday” is finally acknowledged as being public domain. Probably. The history of the hidden track. Format-shifting music you’ve bought in the UK is

Read More
delia derbyshire header


A Swedish black metal band who studied Catholicism so intensely for more efficient blasphemy that they wound up converting to Catholicism. The pioneering women

Read More
Imogen Heap failing to catch all the money raining from the skies, on The Blockchain.

Putting the record industry on Bitcoin: Why this won’t work.

Bloomberg has put up a breathless piece of hype based on a report from the most speculative unit of the Berklee College of Music, suggesting that doing it all on THE BITCOIN BLOCKCHAIN will shower money on all. Plus point: it is indeed from Berklee. Minus points: it’s made of squirrels and crack.

Read More