York-based Loud Records. The label, which is half-owned by BMG, plans to team with Audio Explosion (www. audioexplosion. com), a San José, California-based MP3 Website, to develop promotions for its artists. "This format can definitely replace retail," says Weiner. "It’s going to change the whole face of the industry."
Rykodisc, a Salem, Massachusetts-based record label, will sell MP3 files of select artists for 99 cents per download through the GoodNoise Website (www.goodnoise.com).
Although Rykodisc is the first major independent label to embrace MP3, the format continues to gain in popularity. With more MP3-ready devices in the works, including home and auto players, the SDMI will be forced to play catch-up. Unless the courts intervene, like VHS vs. Beta, the consumer will probably decide whether MP3 or the forthcoming SDMI alternative really is the new sound of music.