The increasing popularity of downloading music from the internet has led researchers at the University of Newcastle to ask whether we are about to abandon physical forms of music entirely.
Dr Marj Kibby, Senior Lecturer in Communication and Culture at the University of Newcastle, said more and more people were listening to music as files on portable players such as iPods - raising questions about the future of the music compact disc.
"Music collections are no longer a carefully constructed set of favourite albums with detailed liner notes and album cover art on display," said Dr Kibby.
"They are more likely to be a fat, glove box sized folder of anonymous CDs, or a set of ever changing playlists on a tiny portable MP3 player."
As part of an Australian Research Council funded project, Dr Kibby is investigating the impact of the internet on the way that young people find information about popular music, as well as acquire and listen to it.
Dr Kibby said the music industry faced a significant transformation as a consequence of declining CD sales and the emergence of online music.
"Changes are being made to music products and delivery systems in the absence of concrete knowledge of consumers' habits and attitudes.
"Given the range of available sources - including their own and friends' CDs, online stores and subscription services, file sharing programs such as Napster and music blogs - we will be asking people where they are getting their music files from."
Dr Kibby said the research will examine whether music consumers have abandoned physical forms of music entirely, or whether the CD is still an important part of their music listening experience.
People over the age of 18 are invited to complete the online survey. For more information visit: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/onlinemusic
Opinions and experiences of musicians on how the internet, and particularly MySpace, is used or might be used, to produce, promote or distribute music and music culture are also sought. Musicians and consumers with interesting or extensive experience with MySpace Music or music on the Internet generally are invited to visit http://www.myspace.com/onlinemusicresearch