The internet has had a huge impact on music. No one would argue with that statement, and the negatives can be pretty depressing.
However, fans of music outside the mainstream are blessed by sites like YouTube and Wikipedia. These sites may be far from perfect, but they make it possible to feel connected with others of similar interests, past and present.
To illustrate my point, if I want to hear the great American trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso, I can find a dozen videos of him in seconds. It's not the same as visiting his regular gig in person, but it complements listening to his albums very nicely.
If I want to feel like there are others just as passionate about jazz as I am, I can visit jazz blogs like Michael Steinman's Jazz Lives.
For me, it is a matter of deep sadness that American/Australian multi-instrumentalist Tom Baker died in 2001, just as this technological revolution was poised to document his musical powers in greater detail. Because he was such a powerful influence on me, I regularly check the internet for new recordings or videos of Tom, but I rarely find them.
Here are a few audio recordings from the Ascona Jazz Festival in 2000 that have quite recently made it onto YouTube thanks to musician Michael Supnick. I hope there are other musical delights like these in many a closet, one day to be made available commercially or informally.