BECKY GEBHARDT, Saturday September 30:

  1. In response to Robert Fink's question: Yes. In addition to showing appreciation for good music, which of course does not have to be independently released to be good, there is further motivation to buy CDs. A CD bought in a store is a multimedia package of art containing not just music but potentially artwork, photography, a lyric sheet, a message from the artist, and additional information about the artist. Surprisingly few artists are using CD-ROM supplements as an incentive to purchase the CD. I agree that "studio chatter" would lose value out of the context of the box set, but I think that a lot of people go to Napster seeking the random audio tracks like that (B-sides, remixes etc.) because it would cost a lot of money to buy it all. Plus, those tracks might not be "good" enough to actually buy, but the fan is still interested in hearing them and possessing them somehow. Home-burned CDs of downloaded MP3s are actually a common birthday present these days, at least amongst college students. It is a great gift—all of those songs that you've always wanted but don't own because it isn't worth buying the whole CD for just one song. It is just like making a mix tape for someone. A mix CD, like a mix tape, is an art form: Selecting songs, putting them in a good sequence, creating artwork for it. On the other hand, giving someone a burned CD of a whole album and not a mix is tacky.


Continue the discussion
at ECHO's Napster forum


September 25 - Reebee Garofalo
September 27 - Robert Fink and Casper Partovi
September 28 - Becky Gebhardt

September 29 - Robert Fink
September 30 - Becky Gephardt and Reebee Garofalo