“This is all part of the Big Flip in publishing generally, where the old notion of ‘filter, then publish’ is giving way to ‘publish, then filter.’ There is no need for Slashdot’s or Kuro5hin’s owners to sort the good posts from the bad in advance, no need for Blogdex or Daypop to pressure people not to post drivel, because lightweight filters applied after the fact work better at large scale than paying editors to enforce minimum quality in advance. A side-effect of the Big Flip is that the division between amateur and professional turns into a spectrum, giving us a world where unpaid writers are discussed side-by-side with New York Times columnists.” Clay Shirky
—The Music Industry and the “Big Flip”Shirky.com)
Another quote from the same article: “The internet has lowered the threshold of publishing to the point where you no longer need help or permission to distribute your work. What has happened with writing may be possible with music. Like writers, most musicians who work for fame and fortune get neither, but unlike writers, the internet has not offered wide distribution to people making music for the love of the thing.”
The web is still primarily a text medium. Regardless of what the future holds, people have already had longer to figure out how to use text online. Until the day when we can talk to our computers in natural language (“Computer — tea. Earl Gray. Hot.”) , any innovation is welcome — such as an interface that lets you query a music database by humming a few bars of the song you want to find.