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.

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So let’s give this Spotify thing a go.

I tried Last.fm around 2009 when I was applying for a job with them. The computer-generated personal radio station thing is amusing in its way. I can’t see myself wandering around with my phone using up my data plan on streaming music; it’ll be strictly a desktop, or rather laptop, thing.

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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

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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

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sad dad at one direction

Links, links, tra la la.

The Napster of the 1930s: bootleg lyric sheets. Dads at a One Direction concert. David Bowie, Brian Eno and Tony Visconti record “Warszawa.”

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