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A View from David Kushner

One for the Road

Thanks to some innovative new technology, concerts can live on long after the encore ends. According to Associated Press, a new service called eMusic Live will soon allow concert goers to purchase portable hard-drives containing the night’s performance. The service…

  • April 30, 2004

Thanks to some innovative new technology, concerts can live on long after the encore ends. According to Associated Press, a new service called eMusic Live will soon allow concert goers to purchase portable hard-drives containing the night’s performance.

The service will debut at Maxwell’s, a small music club in Hoboken, New Jersey, on May 21st. After a show at the club, attendees can walk up to a kiosk and pay either $10 to suck down the recording on their own thumb-drive, or $20 for a copy of the recording on an eMusic drive. Unlike some digital download services, the files will have no restrictions – buyers can play, copy, or distribute the tunes as they see fit.

This is just the latest innovation in the burgeoning field of DIY concert recordings. Bands like the Dead and Phish have been selling instant live CDs to fans on their way out of concerts. eMusic Live is even better, potentially, since it offers a raw, digital file with even more potential uses.

Once again, this goes to show that bands – particularly independent and upcoming artists – can exploit, rather than fear, new technologies. The Grateful Dead, after all, have been letting fans tape their shows for decades; they’re now one of the top grossing live acts of all time.

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