Coinless JukeBox

New software makes it easy to compress and store music CDs on the PC. Best of all, it's free

While the music industry fiddles, its business is going up in flames. Given how much money is at stake--roughly $38 billion in CDs, records and cassettes each year--you'd think that someone would have reached for a hose sooner. But with the launch last week of RealNetworks' remarkably useful JukeBox--a free bit of software that makes it almost too easy to convert music CDs into pass-around computer files--my hunch is that it's already too late. I can smell the burning plastic discs from here.

The record companies have yet to agree on a standard for distributing music digitally online, but hope to...

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