The way I see it, music blogs are a 21st century update to FM radio just as much as satellite radio or podcasts. How so? Well, when I was a kid, I listened to the radio to discover new bands and songs and hear the DJs tell me about them. To me, DJs were tastemakers, guys that knew a ton about new artists and filtered through the garbage to get me quality tunes. Sure, that might not have been entirely accurate back then and it certainly isn't now, but I don't think that notion is too far out in left field.
Blogs fulfill the role that I saw radio DJs having back in the day, only they do a much better job. Rather than 15 radio stations of various genres, there are about a million blogs catering to every taste under the sun. They provide news and info on new bands and, conveniently, often post single tracks from upcoming or buzzed about albums for people to check out. As a rule, they never post entire albums. They aren't some file warehouse, they're publications, and as publications about music it only makes sense that they give you a sample of what they're writing about. Just like the radio, they whet your palate for the music they teach you about. The RIAA should love the free publicity from this, right?
Wrong. This is the RIAA we're talking about, after all. The past few days has seen a sudden influx of blogs getting shut down after the RIAA harasses their hosting providers. Are blogs the next target for the RIAA lawyerbots? Is there a logical reason for them to be doing this? There's been a kind of unspoken truce between the RIAA and bloggers for a long time, one that says that as long as you only post one or two songs and are writing about the artists, it's OK. Why the sudden change of heart? What, suing students doesn't make you seem like big enough dicks, so you've decided to go after the biggest fans of your music? Keep it up dudes, there are still more stupid moves you can make to further alienate potential customers.