Last couple of days have been crazy.
The second day of the conference, yesterday, I only saw one of the sessions before I had to run off to another appointment. It was on "disintermediation," the idea that there are now fewer steps between musicians and audiences. One of the ideas that someone mentioned was that of a "musician's middle class," which I love, because it really expresses the current state of music. There's a very tiny population of mega-artists, and then a very large population of bar bands and struggling acts, and very little in between. Several of the panelists, including Tim from Pandora, said that their goal is to build that middle class. More on it when I write it up for Ars.
After the conference ended, I went to the Pandora event to hear Tim speak. I highly recommend it if he comes to your city (turn on their ability to contact you by e-mail, or watch his blog). I doubt there was anything really new for anyone who's read about the service, but Tim's a good speaker and there were some things I didn't know. For example, at peak times (around lunch), Pandora accounts for 1.5% of all global Internet traffic. That's pretty amazing.
And they gave me a shirt, which is nice.
While we're on the topic of sound and music, the first of my AudioFile series is now up at Ars. It's on basics of digital audio, so if you're a little bit sketchy on the whole idea it's a good introduction. It is very basic, but I wanted to write this before getting into more complicated topics like lossless compression and 1-bit sampling. Response has been relatively good so far. The followup article on MP3 encoding has been submitted, and should go up soon.