"MP3" is as scary a buzzword in the music business as "blank tape" was 20 years ago, meaning that while the big moneymakers are trying to figure out how to stuff the genie back in the bottle, there's already a culture thriving on it. The major labels' fear of digital bootlegging is merited for sure (I tracked down and downloaded a nice, clean, totally unauthorized MP3 of my test case, "Livin' la Vida Loca," in just under four minutes), but there's also nothing they can do about it. Where the real action is, though, is legal MP3s, and the bands who've made their reputations through downloads alone. They're the stars of a murky collegiate netherworld of unknown musicians who want to be noticed really, really badly— and finally have the means... More >>>