In the introduction to this excellently presented pocket-sized book, the authors give their view that of all of the aspects of modern life that have been changed forever by the "Internet revolution", the changes in the way we access music have been perhaps some of the more profound. With computers replacing the need for radios, televisions and stereo systems, Wills and Wardle argue that "there has never been a better time to love music". Whether the idea of your CD collection disappearing onto your hard disc and your record shops being replaced by Internet cafes thrills you to the core or fills your music-loving heart with dread, the Virgin Internet Music Guide is here to give the lowdown on the places to find music on the Web.
Part of a series of similar titles from Virgin, (The Virgin Guide to the Internet being a particularly handy companion volume), the present book takes the form of several chapters of intelligently organised lists and reviews of Web sites, either those associated with specific artists, or more general sites dedicated to news, fan-worship and, crucially, sales. In addition, there are interesting and concise discussions of the ways in which record companies have responded to the growth of the Internet, along with details of MP3, the encoding technology that has enabled Internet music to become a reality. Throughout, the information given is impressively accurate, (with "Address not found" messages incredibly rare), and the reviews informative and often amusing, particularly those for the "anti-sites", where the reader is introduced to such delights as "The Beatles Suck Homepage", (which features "Ranting. Mainly about Ringo"). In all, this is a great introduction to music on the Internet, guaranteed to be of interest to anyone who has ever fancied locating aural delights on the Web. --Steve Price