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This, the first of a series from MidemNet media partner Music Week, is a Q&A with MidemNet Visionary Chair Committee member and mp3 format co-inventor Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg (director, Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT): enjoy!

What most excites you about the digital music space at the moment?
That legal digital music distribution is finally really taking off, including the availability of music which is not tied to a certain system (i.e. no DRM).

What do you see as the biggest untapped source of value within music, and who is best placed to reap the benefits?
Easy discovery of more music, like direct access to a music store if I hear some music I like.

If you could fix one thing in the music industry in 2008, what would it be?
Something technical: a standardised universal access interface for electronic music distribution, so that people looking for music can just access it and do not have to deal with different architectures, payment methods and so on. I know this is just a dream!

Are the solutions to the music industry’s problems more likely to be found by those within the traditional industry or people outside of it?
More likely by those outside of it, but I do not count out the creativity of those within the traditional industry…

What was your favourite song/album of the past 12 months?
Difficult to say, my favourite music changes all the time :-)

Which is the company or executive to watch in 2008?
No single company or executive, but all the companies offering recommendation and discovery technology: After long years of development, this technology is now ready for widespread deployment. It will be interesting to see which music vendor goes with which technology vendor, who survives, who does not succeed…


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About Author

James Martin

James Martin is Head of Social Media for Midem organisers Reed MIDEM. This includes defining and rolling out Midem's social media strategy, editing midemblog, influencer outreach, developing Midem's fanbase of 75,000+ music professionals and more.

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