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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Using Flash Drives in the Music Industry

Flash drives are often viewed as useful portable devices that can
store and transfer high volumes of files to other devices. Due to
their low costs and high capacities, they are widely used by all
classes of computer users. These compact devices became so popular
that people are less aligned to buy CDs and DVDs unless they are
purely for backup purposes. The music industry has realised this as
well and several bands are ditching the CDs as well by creatively
releasing their latest albums on flash drives.

This can simply be achieved by copying the tracks at their highest
quality into the drive, complete with track information and the drive
is ready to go. This is beneficial to both the fans and the artists
themselves. Here are some reasons why the use of flash drives in the
music industry should be welcomed:

Reduced Piracy

Music artists and record labels have been fighting piracy long and
hard, yet they still suffer from their songs being pirated even before
they are released. This is because most people cannot see any benefits
of purchasing the audio CD unless they are collectors. With the album
released on a flash drive, fans can view the specialized flash drive
as a 'freebie' that is unlike any standard USB flash drive.

Better Marketing

A music store is filled with tons of albums that compete for selection
by using their album art as the front end. Now artists can go beyond
their creative album arts and add style and funky designs to their
flash drives to make them really stand out. Nobody will resist a
uniquely styled flash drive that even has the logo. Some interesting
concepts allow people to wear their flash drive albums around their
neck or wrist.

Easier Distribution

Mp3 players have quickly replaced walkmans and discmans since they
were first introduced rendering the audio CD virtually useless. These
players have a high enough capacity to store hundreds of albums and
transferring these CD tracks to mp3 players requires a little bit of
conversion work. Most albums distribute their albums in mp3 format so
they are ready for play in any portable media device.

All the Benefits of a Flash Drive

Standard audio CDs are read-only, but flash drives can be formatted to
make way for other files. These album owners can optionally move their
tracks to another location and put other things in making it work just
like a regular flash drive that was newly purchased.

Purchased CDs often get scratched even when they are handled well and
are dust magnets as they age. Albums on flash drives get all the
protection benefits of flash drives which makes them last longer. They
are easier to store as well due to their compact size.

Album-branded drives aren't that popular as of yet since a single USB
drive is nowhere near the cost of a blank CD. But they are becoming
cheaper to produce and it is expected for more albums to be released
on these.