I've seen some complaining by record companies, most recently in my local paper, that gross income falls as sales move from albums to a sort of a la carte system with iTunes and friends. Apparently the loss in album sales has not been solved by the increase in the sale of the 45, so to speak, so there's the temptation to cry foul, or at least whine.

Two thoughts:
1.) If they're hurting now, what happens once the old libraries have been picked over? I mean, we've got an explosion of potential singles from albums we didn't buy due to cost; I know I've purchased a number of single tracks where I don't want to slap down $15 -- or even $6 used from Amazon -- for the entire disc. But once I've in effect picked over that library, what happens? Are there so many back albums I'll be buying singles forever, or will this be another revenue stream that slows a bit in the future?
2.) How were they doing with 45s? Apparently not so well, as I can remember an age with just albums and very very few singles. Yet I've seen collections from people who were relatively young in the 50s that are almost exclusively singles! Makes me wonder if this isn't just a cyclic thing rather than what the record companies are obviously trying to do: make it sound like gloom and doom for an entire industry.

Seems like there's a pertinent story about an ant and a grasshopper I should put in here somewhere.