In the future, where we "know" that all music will be delivered digitally ( you know...no actual objects you can touch...just downloadable stuff (I don't thing this will really happen, but that's just me)), will anything go "out of print"?
A related issue: access to 'historical' (read: "old") recordings. Since there will be no "record" stores, how will a person discover older music? Heck, this really does apply to new music as well.
I started thinking about this stuff yesterday after listening to an interview with King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew. In particular, the segment on reaching new and younger audiences. Adrian points out that he's had a recording career for over 25 years....and how does he make his music known to the younger audience that he just knows is out there?
Similarly, how will a person in our perfect, digital future discover music that's new to them? Web (or whatever it is by then) searching? Online browsing?
I do know people who don't have much use for cd stores. These are definitely not your typical "RIAA enemies" who pay for nothing (oh please, oh please...may we be talking about the RIAA in the past tense in our "perfect future"). They just aren't all that interested in in-person browsing. Most of their music is purchased online (Amazon, etc).
I may be showing my age here (and please, don't let me get started about vinyl!) but this just doesn't work for me. "Browsing" for cd's on the internet is so...uhmm...unfulfilling...compared to flipping through stacks of cds at a store. It reminds me of those "dinner pills" the Jetsons used to swallow. A nice, convenient idea but....no thanks. I mean, there have been so many recordings I've stumbled across while doing a record/cd "troll" at the store. This is possible (I guess) online....but...hmmm, I dunno.
I've got no answers here. We don't even really know how the current recording industry mess is going to shake out.
(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)