The major labels wanted to kill the single. Instead they killed the album. The Recording Industry Association of America wanted to kill Napster. Instead it killed the compact disc.Funky little record shops run by people who really knew and loved the music were certainly cool, but I have to admit that the current on-line environment suits me even better. I can easily find out anything I want to know, engage in on-line discussions, and buy even the most obscure music, new or used, electronic or physical. Even the funkiest CD shop or the biggest Tower Records would never carry anything as obscure as my own CD, which you can easily buy (along with millions of other "long tail" artists) from CD Baby, or download by the song at iTunes and other music sites.
But it is too bad that the music industry didn't recognize the truth of "adapt or die." Actually they did recognize it, but they thought that "adapt" meant "hire more lawyers" rather than "figure out how to make money selling what your customers want."