From the mailbox, Joerg on Ringtones:
Yes, we really have arrived in the age of the incredibly shrinking civilization! No doubt about it. I wasn´t so sure when you prognosticated the "disappearance of the physical", although I am definitely no friend of lousy MP3 files that purport to be a substitute for vinyl and CD recordings. I certainly still entertained hopes that the "physical" - the incarnation of music in disc form - would rebound strongly and reassure audiophiles like me that life remains worth listening. Admittedly there is an industry fallout between Sony and the rest - a replay of the video schism along the lines of VHS and Betamax under the auspices of a new crop of acronyms: SACD and DVD-Audio.
Hope springs eternal, but yesterday´s news definitely shattered it. Jupiter Media tells us the music industry will sell no more than 75 million Euros worth of songs via the Internet - pretty much exclusively through Apple´s iTunes-website. The real success, however, is not embodied in the new disc formats - it comes in the form of cellphone ringtones
which will gross five times as much as downloadable MP3s: 350 million Euros worth of variations on the ringedingeling theme will delectate consumers´ ears. In case you didn´t yet know, Jupiter Research can also enlighten you as to which bands and titles have had the good fortune to be in greater demand for phone-based deployment towards the auditory channel of users´ refined sensibilities than via any other transport medium. Maybe "Round Round" by the Sugababes strikes a chord? A long search has come to an end. Mankind has identified the pure platonic form of music, stripped of all accidental phainomenai. Long live the ringtone!