October 14, 1996


Direct Delivery of Music Via PCs Will Make CDs Obsolete

Manhasset, NY -- In an exclusive article for the November issue of CMP's WINDOWS Magazine, on newsstands tomorrow, Todd Rundgren, musician, singer, songwriter and software developer, predicts the next revolution in the music industry. Direct delivery of music via PCs will eventually replace all other modes of distribution, including purchasing music on CDs, predicts Rundgren.

"Those little silver discs called CDs are about to spin into oblivion," Rundgren writes in WINDOWS Magazine's Dialog Box column. According to Rundgren, direct delivery of music via PCs is the direction the music industry is headed for three reasons: it's immediate, convenient and economical. Moreover, moving PC users in this direction won't be difficult since they already have the equipment they need.

Within Rundgren's new model, music listeners will subscribe to an artist or a record company and become a patron of that artist or label, which will deliver their selections electronically.

"This is especially great for garage bands and for people like me who don't have a gigantic fan base," writes Rundgren. "I'd say to my fans, 'For 20 bucks, I'll give you everything I do for the next year.' And they don't have to wait until the end of the year to get it. As I do it, I'll deliver it instantaneously."

Rundgren continued, "I can send a high-quality version of whatever album you want to hear right to your e-mail inbox. Place a button on your desktop that represents just new hit songs; click on it every day and get a different song."

This new mode of music delivery would have a variety of applications beyond the single end-user. "Other potential applications are dentists' offices, skating rinks or any place you hear background music," Rundgren notes. "The Internet becomes a Muzak source for services that offer music for different settings."

According to Rundgren, even sound quality shouldn't be an issue. "Advanced data compression techniques can improve the quality of music broadcast over the Net with nothing more than a 28.8Kbps modem and a regular phone line. Substitute ISDN or a cable modem, and the quality approaches that of a CD."

This economic model would cut out a lot of middlemen who have nothing to do with the creative process or the listening experience, Rundgren argues. It would also reduce production and end-delivery costs, to the benefit of both the musician and the listener.

"The only improvement on this model that I can envision is installing chips in people's heads," Rundgren concludes.

Rundgren's Dialog Box article can be found on page 71 of WINDOWS Magazine's November issue. The Dialog Box column is an open forum for personalities to present their views on technology. To find out more about the column, contact Nancy A. Lang, Senior Associate Editor, at nlang@cmp.com.

Published by CMP Media Inc., WINDOWS Magazine is the leading independent magazine targeting Windows business users, buyers and purchase influencers. Since its inception, the publication has set and maintained the standard for market coverage, editorial excellence, reader preference, circulation and advertising growth. WINDOWS Magazine can be found online at its Web site (http://www.winmag.com), in its CompuServe area (GO WINMAG), or in its America Online area (Keyword: WinMag).

CMP Media Inc., now in its 25th year of uninterrupted growth, is the only provider of publishing, marketing and information services to reach the entire spectrum of the high-technology market÷the builders, sellers and users of technology. All of CMP's publications and a series of innovative news and interactive services, are available on the World Wide Web through CMP's TechWeb(r), http://www.techweb.com, the industry's first free daily technology news and interactive services super site, since 1994. CMP's NetGuide Live, the first comprehensive daily online guide to the Net, is available at http://www.netguide.com.

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