Having entered the digital age, audio is about to face new challenges. Electronic technology is about to offer negligible-cost solutions to some key tasks in digital audio, such as coding and encoding, storing, transmission, and access. At the same time, the Internet is establishing itself as a practical system for the physical and commercial distribution of digital goods, with a massive impact on many aspects of future audio products. Recent developments in Internet and e-commerce solutions are useful in assessing which elements of forthcoming business systems may be susceptible to control. They are also valuable indicators of forthcoming challenges to be faced by the audio community in the areas of research, education, publishing, and standards.
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