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Wait, 'DownBeat' Has A Digital Edition?

Nate Chinen linked recently to a piece he did for DownBeat magazine on the disappearing role of the jazz record producer. (Due to record label divestments in jazz, advances in digital recording, etc.) We've kicked this thought around the office, so we're glad the public conversation was started. But for me, the real surprise was: I can read DownBeat online for free now?

Kinda sorta. So far, in digging around the DownBeat Web site, I see no links to full articles from the current issue, and certainly no way to access the digital edition, the in-browser file that replicates the magazine experience. If you go to the subscription page, it supposedly costs $19.99 for a year of access to the digital edition (if you're not already a print subscriber). But if you Google search "downbeat digital edition," you can tap into the current issue, and navigate to an archive of full issues back to September 2008. Ha!

If Down Beat ends up putting its content behind a more secure pay wall, I suppose I'd understand its motivations — but they'd be doing themselves a long-term disservice with respect to the next generation of jazz fans. That's another whole blog post, though. [DownBeat: March 2010(Links Removed, On Second Thought)]