Technology Never Stalls

By Adam D. Wiseman for The Current on April 9, 2007

There is always that inevitable feeling that comes over you. Just when it gets to the best part of the concert, you have to use the restroom.

You have waited so long to see your favorite band, but you can wait no longer for nature's call. While rushing into the bathroom, you hear your favorite song start.

You are angry, and you pick the first stall in sight.

As you finish you see something on the ground that resembles a flash drive. You pick it up and put it in your pocket. It is a One-gigabyte drive and those can be expensive, so that is enough reason to not feel weird about taking it off the bathroom floor.

After getting home, you pull out the drive and put it into your computer to see what some unlucky person dropped on the floor.

Opening the folder on your computer you see only a song title in mp3 format. You play it on your iTunes and realize it is a brand new song from the group you just went to see.

Incidents like this one have been happening during the current Nine Inch Nails tour in Europe. The band has been placing flash drives that contain new music from the band's upcoming album in various areas of concert venues.

Three songs, pictures and a music video have been thrown into the hands of frenzied fans in an effort to drum up support for the new album.

Nine Inch Nails could have waited to release their songs on a CD and made people go buy them, but what is the fun in that? Aren't they going to lose money?

The band is trying to do something new. Instead of fighting music piracy on the Internet, it is joining the masses and giving them what they want. Free music.

The band recently allowed fans to listen to the entire album on their Web site that will be released on April 17, and it has been leaked onto the Internet. If you want a copy, you can have it.

This all coincides with the changing world of media, as we know it.

The days of the CD and DVD are coming to an end. It will take more time than the ill fated 8-track, but you can see it everywhere.

IPods, file sharing and the transition from gigabytes to terabytes for even more storage capabilities are fueling the change.

CDs are now bulky technology nobody carries around anymore, they are found only in cars or next to a computer waiting to be imported.

Companies are playing with the idea of selling movies online for download, and as this is read, it has probably become reality.

As corporations try to find ways to keep their hands in the business of media, bands such as Nine Inch Nails are moving in the direction of the new ways to get their fans involved.

Next time you are at a concert you may come upon a flash drive, and you might be on the edge of the future.

Transcribed by Lt. Randazzo

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