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The music snobbery is going to get a whole lot thicker on MySpace now that thousands of independent labels have signed on for "virtual major" Merlin.

While most indie albums sell in small numbers, indie labels collectively account for 27.5 percent of total music sales worldwide; when banded together, they represent one of the largest labels on the planet.

The purpose of the organization is to allow online distributors like MySpace and iTunes to have one contact to negotiate deals on behalf of thousands of small companies. All of it means more choice for customers online — those of you who introduced your crush to Os Mutantes can be forgiven if your expression of affected indifference melts into a smile, if only for a moment. Now the glossy, pop crap from the likes of EMI will have to compete on par with the delights of Sympathy for the Record Industry's catalog.