I'll accept a late pass for this one, but this month I finally read The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution by Dave Kusek and Gerd Leonhard. Every serious music fan needs to read this book. It's all about how people who love music can - and will - take music back from big business and turn it into a service (like a utility payment) rather than a static product (see: overpriced CDs).
Record sales may be plummeting, but people are listening to more music now than ever before. As Kusek and Leonhard explain, the time is ripe for entrepreneurs to give music consumers exactly what they want - all the digital music they can listen to, anytime they want, for as little money as possible. Convert the millions of file-sharers into paying customers with a low service fee and incredible soft/hardware that makes music easy to find and share. Even if the flat fee is as low as $1 a month, the result will be an immense pool of money that reflects just how important music is to us.
Kusek and Leonhard cover a lot of ground with The Future of Music, and it's inspiring to imagine the possibility of "music like water." That is, music that surrounds us as a readily available resource that we hardly think twice about consuming. If I was part of the antiquated and uncompromising record industry, the ideas presented in The Future of Music would haunt my dreams. They'd also motivate me to sign any flavor of the week that just might turn a quick buck. But that's part of a rapidly dissolving present; it's time to look to the future.