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Alternative music

I've just finished reading Todd Rundgren's column (Dialog Box, November 1996). While I respect Mr. Rundgren's musical genius, his pronouncement on the death of the audio CD is shortsighted. If Rundgren chooses this method of delivery as his only conduit to listeners, only a small core of devoted fans will subscribe to his service, while casual and new fans will be left out of the loop. This may suit Rundgren, who is now considered a cult idol, but new and longtime commercially successfully artists thrive on recruiting new fans and sustaining casual fans through the accessible purchase of audio CDs.

Tom McCool via the Internet

There are many reasons why the direct delivery of music over the Internet is not going to replace audio CDs for a long time, as Todd Rundgren claims. First, portability is the main issue. You can take a CD anywhere: in your house, in your car or in your portable CD player. To listen to music over the Internet, you have to be next to your PC. Second, the vast majority of people don't have the capability to listen to music over the Internet. Third, even with the fastest modem available today, real-time music is abysmal. The only other alternative, pre-downloading CD-quality sound files, takes up huge amounts of time and even larger amounts of space. The obstacles to online music delivery are far greater than what Mr. Rundgren sees.

Michael J. Baldwin Jr. via the Internet

I would like to take issue with Todd Rundgren's conclusion that online delivery of music will kill the CD industry. Music is not the only application for compact disc technology, and it's been taking up a progressively smaller proportion of the industry's output for years. CD-ROM for business and non-audio entertainment applications, as well as CD-Recordable for archiving and data distribution, are the growth areas of this business.

Katherine Cochrane via the Internet

Todd Rundgren's theory is interesting, but he's forgotten the one thing that record albums used to offer that will be obsolete if his theory becomes reality: the cover art. One of the greatest joys of experiencing new music is exploring the artwork, and reading the liner notes and thoughts of the artist.

Kurt Swenson via the Internet

Windows Magazine, February 1997, page 26.

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