BusinessWeek Looks At The Continuing "Singles Vs. Albums" Debate

Charles Haddad of BusinessWeek is taking another look at the battle between artists who want to sell only albums online and online distributors who want to offer music as singles and albums. He had previously examined the situation, and got a lot of feedback, both positive and negative. Some artists feel that buyers will favor buying individual songs, killing the album in the process, but most buyers want the freedom to only buy individual songs if they so choose. Some of those writing into Mr. Haddad have even gone so far as to say that the album is already dead. From BusinessWeek:

At the heart of the debate is this question: Who should decide whatis art, the artist or the public? The Chili Peppers and Metallica say they -- and they alone -- should decide how fans should listen to and keep their music.

Increasingly, thatis rubbing fans the wrong way, if my mail is any indication. Wrote Chuck McGinley, an electrical engineer from Boston: "Let people sample the works of an artist and then make their own decision."

DISTANT WAILS. In the hands of listeners such as McGinley, Appleis (APPL) iTunes is a tool of liberation. It gives them the freedom to pick and choose, and, in essence, make their own compilations from favorite tracks. And thatis just what many of those who wrote in told me they were using iTunes to do. In fact, the opportunity to compile personalized play lists and track selections may be one of the serviceis biggest draws.

You can read the full article at BusinessWeekis Web site. We found it an interesting read.