The Modern Way to Put out an Album: NYeT!

By David Battino
May 13, 2009 | Comments: 2

It would be cruel to cite this as another example of the increasing irrelevance of newspapers, but I was honestly stumped by this entry in today's New York Times crossword puzzle (#408):

NYT crossword fear
The New York Times does offer this free crossword program for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

52 Across, four letters: Modern way to put out an album.

Hmm. "MP3" and "AAC" (the iTunes format) were too short. So was "P2P." And I was pretty sure the NYT didn't mean "FREE."

How about "iApp"? A number of artists have been releasing music as interactive iPhone applications. Eliot Van Buskirk at Wired offers high hopes for the format.

But wait — the mystery word started with an O. "Oggs"? Looptastic, an iPhone app on which I've been consulting, is based on the Ogg Vorbis audio-compression format, which opened some interesting doors. Programmer Aaron Higgins reveals,

"We used an open source library assembly language optimized for the ARM microprocessor. This format is completely viable for the iPhone because of the hard work of many fanatical people. I was able to implement Ogg support in an afternoon, much to my astonishment. (I would have expected it to take a week.) Of course, it is royalty free and avoids all the licensing hassles with MP3 or AAC. Since the product is self-contained, compatibility is not an issue."

But no. None of these were the modern way to put out an album, according to the New York Times. The answer, says the Graying Lady, is "on CD."

What's a four-letter word for newspaper?

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It occurs to me that my last line may have come off as scornful. As a daily newspaper subscriber, I'm hoping the four-letter word is along the lines of "HOPE" rather than "DEAD."

Best suggestion so far, from the redoubtable Jim Aikin: "PULP."

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