What is also new and old is that MP3s return music to experience rather than being things, commodities. To some extent this technology also returns music to the social experience it always was, maybe not in the way Microsoft would like to link to in their ads for Zune, and not entirely about file sharing either, but somehow. It’s information, communication, as it once was.
Odd that the digitizing of audio was developed, I think, by Bell Labs, many years ago, as a way of squeezing more conversations over long distance cables. A telephone company, communication, service, not product, sort of. Seems we’re back to that. Music as conversations and communication.