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At Least Two Labels Understand the Digital Revolution

Palm and Mute have put out CDs with unprotected MP3s as well as standard CD audio tracks on them. You can either work with the digital revolution or you can try to fight it. What do you think will more productive in the end?

    Palm, working with a small independent label, Kemado, released “Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid” from the New York band Elefant; fans can listen to all 10 tracks on a CD player or in MP3 format, and the disc includes a bonus song available only in MP3 format.

    Mute, well known among fans of electronic music, released a double album of techno tracks, “2 CD’s & MP3’s.” The album has 12 MP3-only cuts in addition to 16 tunes in both formats.

    Representatives of the labels say the decision to include MP3 files on the CD’s does not reflect a surrender to illegal file traders, but rather, pragmatism.

    “We’re just acknowledging the way our fans like to listen to their music,” said Dan Cohen, head of marketing for Palm. “The idea of doing this isn’t to say to kids, ‘Hey, swap our files.’ We’re saying: ‘Thank you for buying the record. We want to give you something.’ Maybe that’s saying, ‘You’ll burn this onto your iPod anyway; well, here – it’s high quality, it’s sanctioned by the artist and we’re cool with you having it on your player.’ And if a few people trade it, well, we’re hoping they’ll like it enough that they’ll go buy it.”

    ….Seth Hodder, the label manager at Mute, said it, too, was seeking to meet the demand of its customers.

    “We spoke with some of the D.J.’s we work with, and it became clear that more and more of them were abandoning vinyl for programs such as Final Scratch and Traktor, and playing digital files,” Mr. Hodder said. “It just made sense to include them on the CD.”

    In early May, Mute’s star D.J. and techno composer, Richie Hawtin, drove home the point in a promotional appearance for Apple Computer. At Apple’s Manhattan store, he spun a compelling set of music using five iPods.

    ….”This is about artists trying to get closer to their audience,” said Mr. Hawtin, who, performing as Plastikman, contributed “Afrika,” a track of clanging drums, to the Mute compilation.

    “Maybe this CD is only giving people what they could already have, but it shows a good attitude from the label toward the consumer,” he said. “These labels understand what’s happening and want to be part of the digital revolution.” [NY Times]

And good attitude and understanding what’s happening count for a lot – let us support their efforts.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014.Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted.Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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