What Do You Want To Know About The Music Business?

As we continue to develop this blog in the hope of making it better, we ask ourselves daily what should we be writing about?

Recently we published a few posts about release dates — why some are more popular than others, and why they always fall on Tuesdays in the U.S. We started talking about other "standards" in the music industry: things that we all take for granted, but might not be rooted in much practicality — or that we acknowledge to be true, but whose roots might be mysteries worth exploring.

Questions like:

How did 30 seconds come to be the rule for fair use music clips?

Remember those enormous plastic exoskeletons that CDs were packaged in back in the '90? Did those really deter theft? Whose brilliant idea was that?

Exactly how much profanity merits a "Parental Advisory" label on albums (or [Explicit] on songs)? Who sets those rules and have they changed recently?

Why is a 7" seven inches in diameter?

What is a conscience clause and why don't we have them in the U.S.?

Why have LPs gotten longer?

How much does it cost to make a CD?

How do the charts work?

How do commercial radio stations choose their playlists?

Some of these questions have fairly simple answers — but it's nice to have some knowledge in your back pocket. Others are real mysteries and we'll need your help to ferret out the answers.

We also want to know what you want to know? Tell us in the comments or write us at therecord@npr.org.

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