Smithsonian to sell digital music downloads online

The Smithsonian announced today that it’s teamed up with micropayments vender Peppercoin to sell digital music from its collections starting in April 2004. The Smithsonian 33,000 song collection of American folk music and world music will be available for 99 cents per tune. According to a CNET story, the terms of the deal with Peppercoin afford them more revenue than they might realize with a traditional credit card vendor.
I savor the idea of being able to download songs from The Alan Lomax Collection, Indonesian gamelan music, and all the odd and interesting pieces that Smithsonian musicologists have been collecting since the ’30. Probably some great spoken word in there as well…like Zora Neal Hurston reading aloud.
(BTW, the current search through their music catalog is here.)