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The Music Business: PBS' OffBook Explores How It's Progressed Online (VIDEO)

First Posted: 01/14/2012 9:41 am Updated: 02/21/2012 1:35 pm

Music Evolution Online

We've been following PBS' great OffBook series since its studies of generative art and book illustrations. Today, we explore an issue close to our hearts at HuffPost Culture -- the evolution of music online. If you can get past the creepy close-up shots of people's faces in this video, it's a great primer on how we experience music today, broken down into four steps.

According to Jon Cohen, co-founder of the FADER label, the '90s was a golden age of artists being signed to major labels, and consumers discovering hidden gems before anyone else did. Now, we have a flood of musicians coming online, and it makes it harder to distinguish the standouts.

Ryan Dombal, a senior editor at Pitchfork, touts the importance of curation in the "free-for-all" online, and the need for sites like -- you guessed it! -- Pitchfork to do this job for us.

"People like me are hopefully useful because we guide them [consumers] the right way," Dombal said.

But what is the right way? Can the tastemakers at Pitchfork know everything about what we want and don't want to listen to?

Hype Machine is yet another "filter for the filter," Anthony Volodkin, founder of Hype Machine explains. Sites like this curate a selection of what's on the small music blogs out there, giving a more democratic look at musical offerings.

How do you find the music you listen to online? Let us know in the comments.

Watch and learn more about the above, as well as Vimeo's role in music's evolution:

Off Book: The Evolution of Music Online from PBS Arts on Vimeo.

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Filed by Gazelle Emami  |