With so many people getting their music for free illegally from the internet, what incentive is there to buy an already archaic looking cd? For today's youth, not much. The latest and most creative idea may be able to get them to actually pay for their tunes: albums on USB drives.
Do not picture a business looking thumb drive. The bands that have already released their albums on USB drives have come up with some really creative marketing techniques. Most have formed their USB drives into a wristband not unlike the one worn to get into concerts. Not only is this a fashion statement, not only does it carry the latest music, but it also comes packed with loads of extras to spice the bargain. Many bands include videos, desktop wallpapers and icons on their USB albums.
The more practical music lover may be pleased to know that most USB albums include extra digital space so you can use them just as you would your traditional jump drive.
How does it work?
The clearest of all audio files (digital audio files) are transferred from computer to computer just as any other file would be on any other USB flash drive. Many other technology manufacturers are preparing for this trend to catch on. Many new home Hi-Fi stereos and car stereo head units are now being manufactured to accept USB albums.
Just because you do not have the USB album of your favourite band does not mean you will not be able to salvage your music from your old cds. You can rip the music from your cds and transfer the tracks to your USB port to play along with all of your other USB albums.
Who is using them?
The big music makers Universal, EMI, and Warner have all announced to they will be selling music on USB drives. Some ground breaking musicians have already led the way down the road of the future of music: the White Stripes' latest album "Icky Thump" was released on USB, Matchbox Twenty is releasing "Exile on Mainstream" as a USB bracelet, and even Kanye West has released a single on USB.
The first band to use this new piece of technology was the German band WIZO who made history in 2004 with their release of the "Stick EP" which included video, pictures, lyrics, and guitar sheet music in addition to traditional album music.
The trend is catching on. Pretty soon you will be able to pick up jump drive albums from Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, the Fratellis and even Nine Inch Nails.
Everyone who works in the music industry needs to keep their eye on this, album USBs are the next big thing. Pretty soon cds are going to go the way of the cassette, the eight-track, and the classic lp. The USB albums are clearer, offer less clutter and many more extras than just a hidden music track on a cd. The future of music is upon us, and that future is the music USB.