iTunes Store to offer booklets, liner notes

iTunes Store to offer booklets, liner notes

Summary: Were you upset when albums were replaced by CDs because they had so much less real estate for album art and liner notes? Back in the day prerecorded music featured things like lyrics which seem to have mostly gone the way of the Dodo bird.

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, Hardware
5 you upset when albums were replaced by CDs because they had so much less real estate for album art and liner notes? Back in the day prerecorded music featured things like lyrics which seem to have mostly gone the way of the Dodo bird.

Then CDs dumped the long box in favor of just the jewel case, which while better for the environment, further reduced the product's footprint. And if you bought cassettes, well forget it.

When the iTunes Store launched in April 2003 all of the physical art associated with music disappeared entirely when atoms were replaced by bits.

As a consolation prize, some digital downloads include album art (usually just the cover though) and a modicum of ID3 tags like artist, album, etc. -- a huge disappointment to those that valued the physical, tactile art that used to accompany their music purchases.

In a bid to bump up sales of complete albums on its iTunes Store, Apple will begin offering interactive booklets and sleeve notes according to a report from the Financial Times.

Codenamed "cocktail" FT reports that Cupertino is working with the big four music labels (EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music Group) to launch the enhanced music service in September.

According to the report the tag-along files will be more than a bunch of PDFs. The word is that the interactive album material will include photos, lyric sheets, liner notes and possibly videos. Users will be able to click through to items that they find interesting and play songs directly from the interactive content without having to load iTunes, which sounds cool.

However they decide to do it, it sounds great to me - just no DRM, please! I've been buying a lot of my music recently on 180 gram vinyl and the liner notes, lyric booklets, heck even the album art has been a welcome flashback.


Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware

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  • Depends if you need it

    Depends if you buy music for the music, or to get mixed up in the artists' heads. Much like if you buy the deluxe editions of DVDs for all the special features or the basic to just get the movie.

    I started with buying vinyl, then buying cassettes, then vinyl transferred to cassettes on a Nakamichi, then CDs, now WMA from CDs.

    Throughout that evolution, the space for extranious infomation has steadily decreased.

    Now there are USB albums, but I don't understand why SD (and microSD) does not become a medium for distribution of full wave or lossless music files. I have considered them for distribution of our music at full fidelity (basically, put in a normal envelope for standard postage and so small that they are unlikely to get damaged if the envelope is folded).

    For those that really want the info, websites can amply provide it, or have pdfs on the ditribution media. Online sites are in a bind as it has to have a consistent mechanism for providing what can be a wide variation in the info available for tracks.
  • There may be a lot more to it
  • This is like $300 "Upholstery protection" .....

    Remember the shark tank car dealers that tacked on $1000 non-negotiable "options" to a car?
    $300 upholstery protection ($10 can of fabric protector)
    $800 "rust protection" (another $20 can of spray on gunk)
    Sounds like the record labels are copying a dead business model ????
  • RE: iTunes Store to offer booklets, liner notes

    I like the PDF booklets available already (in rare cases).
    When I worked on album production as a PolyGram
    product manager, we always tried to do our best (in
    budgets still reasonably high in mid 90s) to help the artists
    to create their "brand". The biggest expense was not the
    creative design but the printing, redundant these days.

    Now I would welcome if these simple PDF booklets were
    transferable onto iPhone/iPod where I could enjoy them
    while listening.
  • People listen to music differently now

    Back in the day when you listened to vinyl, you were restricted to sitting next to the stereo. So it made sense to have all that material to look at while you listened to your music. But these days, most people listen to their music on the go (mp3 player, in the car, etc.). Not exactly conducive to flipping through liner notes. Maybe the mp3 player with a video display (iPod Touch) will change that. But I still think music is now more of a distraction while you do something else.