I wrote this for Monday's NYT: Downloaders Can Get Nothing for Something From Apple.
Via Jason I read this very funny writeup about the availability of 99-cent chunks of silence on iTunes. I tried to write something funnier and failed.
What didn't fit in the story: Brian Flemming claims to have purchased and downloaded the entire playlist of silent songs compiled by readers of As the Apple Turns, burned them to CD, ripped the CD to defeat Apple's copy protection and then whipped up his his own remix that is "more than the sum of its parts." He is selling his remix for 99 cents and has imposed various draconian restrictions on its use, but he was kind enough to give me a free copy. Here's your free copy (3.6MB MP3). Turn it up!
-- Amazon preview of Ciccone Youth's "(Silence)": Real, Windows Media. (I asked them to comment, but Sonic Youth has thus far remained silent.)
-- You can buy the sheet music for "4"33'," John Cage's silent masterpiece, for just $4.25. Note that at 1.6 cents per second before tax and shipping, this silence is cheaper than that in the iTunes playlist, which is 2.2 cents/second. Of course if you're not musically inclined, you will have to hire someone to perform the Cage piece for you, which may increase your total cost.
-- I had heard about the copyright dispute involving the unauthorized use of Cage's silence, but I missed the part about it being settled for six figures. Are we sure this wasn't a publicity stunt? More.