Let's step back for a minute...
...and focus on something that someone said earlier:
>The one metric that DOES make sense is how much are you willing to pay to be entertained per minute?
The number of people in the world (as a % of population) who are capable of making decent music is staying pretty constant. New technology may make it more accessible, but we're not on some exponential curve whereby in twenty years time everyone on the planet will be Prince (or whomever).
The amount of money that people are prepared to spend on listening to decent music is staying pretty constant. Actually the total entertainment spending is going up as standards of living generally rise, but you could argue that there are increasing numbers of things people want to spend their spare cash on, so lets say for the sake of argument that this figure is just about keeping pace with... ooh, I don't know... the number from the first paragraph above?
So we have no shortage of money available to pay for music, and no runaway increase in the amount of music that people actually want to listen to. What we do have is a breakdown in the way that money has traditionally changed hands (in relatively large chunks, for relatively small amounts of music that were then felt to be 'owned' in a traditional, if-I-have-it-then-you-don't kind of way). So what we need is simply a new way of collecting the money that people are prepared to pay and dividing it up between the people who make worthwhile music.
Tip jars won't work, because people only put 10% of the cost of the meal into the tip jar. (Yes, I know there are pay-what-you-like restaurants, I've been to them; they're novelties and they only work because people know what the 'fair' price is everywhere else.)
The answer, as frequently explained on The Register, is compulsory licencing: collected from everyone, and allocated according to measured downloads/plays (which the consumers have no interest in cheating, because it doesn't save them any money). Can anyone make this work? I dunno, but it is the answer...