I was thinking about music and how the distribution model has changed so much. Wired had an interesting article about a new software called Weed. It allows musicians to encode their MP3s with special software that tags the song for playback three times. After three listens, you must pay or the song will not play. It's enough of a 'test drive' for listeners to decide if they'd like to buy the tune. The encoded MP3 resets itself after three listens, allowing you to share it with friends, who also get to listen to the song for three times.
I think this is definitely on the right track. It's an interesting and innovative way for indie musicians to connect with fans and get their music heard and spread by word of mouth. I know there's a lot of music that friends have turned me on to. Why should I have to spend $.99 for a tune before deciding if I like it. Or, go to amazon.com and listen to a scant 30 second sample of a song. I can't tell if I like a song from a 30 second snippet!
Worse yet, there are hundreds of musicians I've never heard of and I'm missing out on some great music! A lot of indie bands aren't included on pay for music download sites, because they're not signed to a major record label. And why should they sign away their rights and their souls to the devil? They deserve to reap financial rewards from their creativity and work, not merely a scant 10% of sales. So, check out the article and holla!