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I find it curious that the tech-savvy world of Hacker News, which should be comfortable with the idea of specialization in modern capitalist economies, seems to pine for a return to a "cottage" music industry, where the musician is to perform all of the afore-mentioned roles himself. Am I alone in thinking this would be a step back, rather than forward?

You could have smaller companies created that consist only of audio engineers, music marketers, distributors, etc. allowing musicians to pick & choose which company helps them out. Currently it seems like the labels force you to use certain people and if you don't like it, too bad.

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