There's been a fair amount of coverage on digital music recently. I must be hopelessly naive, but I thought illegal downloading had been stamped out years ago. I thought we all blithely bought music through iTunes. The naughtiness was limited to copying CDs off your mates and sticking them on the server at work. A 52 year old accountant told me all about file sharing and which sites to go to get free music.
I sat with Steve Purdham at a do the other night. He's working with Peter Gabriel on a new business called We7.com. You log on and you can listen to virtually anything (through your computer), you can create playlists, compilations and collections which adds that social networking element so essential to anything new on the web. You can also buy music to keep, at about the same price as iTunes. The catch is it plays a short advert at the beginning of a track.
Much of the coverage of the last two weeks on this kind of thing has focused on Spotify, which requires you to download a program, but is quite similar, and nodding in the general direction of Last.fm, which I still haven't quite got my head around yet, despite the presence of a window (right) which reveals what I've been listening to (and all the attendant embarrassment that comes with it).
As a business it's a brave move, bringing together two busted industries in a state of paranoia and paralysis - advertising and music.
This would be superb if and when I get round to routing the PC through a decent speaker system, rather than docking the iPod.