Saturday, January 19, 2008

Books: Still Around

I was just reading a news article about the woes of the music business.
In 2006 EMI, the world's fourth-biggest recorded-music company, invited some teenagers into its headquarters in London to talk to its top managers about their listening habits. At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table. But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free. “That was the moment we realised the game was completely up,” says a person who was there.
They can't even give CDs away. How about that?

As I sit here, listening to music on my computer, I think about the fact that print media has not yet been replaced. They keep trying to come up with a viable e-book, but so far none of them have taken off. Reading a computer screen continues to be less comfortable than reading a piece of paper. Or to put it another way, music can be adequately reproduced on a computer. Words, ironically, cannot, even though (as far as I know) computers have been displaying words for longer than they have been playing music. That's so strange.

I suppose that reading is actually hard work -- harder than listening to music (or watching movies, another popular activity that has become computerized.) Even babies can enjoy music. I never thought before about how strenuous reading is.

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