I knew this would happen eventually. Just not when.
I bought tunes off of Amazon MP3 Downloads. It could've been iTunes, except work blocks iTunes.
I've been a partisan on the mobile music side of MP3s vs CDs vs LPs debate, and (don't tell anyone) have downloaded an awful lot of music, but this was the first time I paid for anything.
"Down By The River", Roy Buchanan
"Five String Blues", Roy Buchanan
"The Messiah Will Come Again", Roy Buchanan
"Green Onions", Roy Buchanan and Steve Cropper
"Hot Rod Lincoln", Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen
"Sugarfoot Rag", Hank Garland
Yes, I finally got some Roy.
A big problem I've had with the music business for over 20 years is the death of the single format. When Born in the USA came out, I bought the cassette. I also bought every single, because they all had great non-album b-sides. There's a book called the Top 100 Rock'n'Roll Singles, but the last 2 in the book, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana and "Rockin' in the Free World", had asterisks because they never were released as a single.
We have albums. No, we have CDs. Albums, LPs, were limited to 15 minutes per side. At about 20 minutes and 5 seconds, you can fit 5 songs per side. Or, if you're the Byrds, the last 15 minutes of an extended jam on "Eight Miles High". A CD today can easily contain over an hour of music, which means you can, in one sitting, take in the whole "My Favorite Things" from Coltrane's Live In Japan.
That is, if you can sit through the whole thing.
So, people make recordings and first think they get to, and eventually, have to, fill the 700MB of space on a CD with music. The good thing of a singles market is that the mark is 2 minutes 50. If you can create something interesting in that time, you have a song. You get a heck of a lot of one-hit wonders, but that's OK. That's good. It works for diversity. And diversity, lots of different sounds put head to head to head, is good.
MTV was a good singles substitute, back when it played videos, but that's gone. What I see in MySpace is good, but there's no unification, no central marketplace that I know of, where the next One-Ders can take the Thing That They Do to minor stardom. Maybe Youtube. And anyway, MP3 sales bring it down to just one song again, which is good.