Music 1-2-3: Let Me Make This Simple

My central thesis here is that we're entering a "third epoch" of music as a cultural force for the human race. The "Celestial Jukebox" is one manifestation of that new epoch.

Here are the three epochs as I see them:

"Music 1.0" was everything before Edison recorded "Mary Had A little Lamb (sometime in 1877)."

"Music 2.0" was everything from that first recording to the advent of Napster (as a proxy for internet, digital distribution, etc. etc.)

"Music 3.0" has been evolving since that fateful day in the spring of 1999.  It is not entirely clear yet what it all means, but "whatever you want to hear, whenever you want to hear it, wherever you are," is a cornerstone of the era, along with a revitalization of "live" and "DIY" music. 

This site exists to explore the obstacles that remain in achieving that utopian ideal, and discovering the new behavior patterns that will arise from those possibilities.



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Paul S

  • To clarify, the difference between 1-2-3 is in the delivery of the music to the listener, and not specifically in the technology used to [re]produce it. So digital music files (MP3 et al) are not Music 3.0, but the distribution of them online is. Yes?
    So 1.0 was sitting to see the actual musicians play. 2.0 is a physical recording, delivered in the ways that physical products are delivered (retail stores, mail order, etc.). 3.0 is electronic delivery, in all the different interpretations we’ve seen so far (starting with the original Napster).

  • Yeah, I think you’ve got it. Downloads are a sort’ve hybrid between 2.0 and 3.0. The content is disembodied from the medium, it’s not a “physical” product any more, but it’s still stored and delivered in discrete units. When everything lives in the cloud and nothing is “delivered,” only “accessed,” that will be a purer form of 3.0.
    Not that I’m trying to be absolute about any of this..