Digital Recording: Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll And a Good, Fast Modem

Kathy Fisher and her husband Ron Wasserman, a pop duo that calls itself Fisher, were just another band on the verge. Their once promising talks with record labels had petered out. An appearance at the Lilith Fair came to nothing. The truth is, they were reduced to supporting themselves playing L.A. club gigs and writing jingles for Hyundai.

But last spring a friend told Wasserman to "check out this MP3 thing"--referring to the digital-music format that allows people to swap their favorite tunes online. Wasserman went to the website MP3.com converted three songs he had written and recorded...