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Digital album packaging to improve in 2008

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2008
News Categories: Digital Media

Digital album packaging is set to improve in 2008, adding extras such as more interactive album art, lyrics, liner notes, and more, according to a Reuters report. CD sales continue to outpace those of digital albums, the report claims, in part because the digital versions lack the extras one receives with a physical album purchase. Of those in a position to offer enhanced digital album sales in ‘08, iTunes is the “most likely candidate,” due to its ability to roll out new features simultaneously across both iTunes and iPods. The article also mentions Microsoft’s Zune as another candidate, while stating that Apple may use the enhanced offerings as a way to “make nice” with its label partners.

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Comments

1

That sounds great, but I’m confused as to whether music labels are really losing money or not. Digital downloads and file-sharing should be putting a dent in their earnings, right?

Even this article claims that they lost 20% of album sales this holiday season.

Posted by ddsd on January 2, 2008 at 3:46 PM (PDT)

2

I believe iTunes has already started.  The new Mary J. Blige iTunes album had the same album art/liner notes as the CD.

Posted by Gordy. in Atlanta, GA on January 2, 2008 at 5:09 PM (PDT)

3

So, before now, the “digital booklet” you get from iTunes wasn’t a duplicate of the CD booklet?  Long live physical media!

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on January 2, 2008 at 5:26 PM (PDT)

4

This is all fine and well, but I’m curious as to whether or not this will be available per song.
It’s really high time that individually purchased tracks came with lyrics. (as well as the ability to view the lyrics on your perfectly capable iPhone/iPod Touch..)
I can understand not getting the liner notes for the whole album when you buy one song, but come on, they can at least fill out all the tagging fields for you.

Posted by Miranda Kali on January 3, 2008 at 7:23 AM (PDT)

5

Good news!  However, I mirror Miranda’s concern with regards to purchasing singles and the lyrics…it would be nice to have that.

Posted by shatnerfan1701 on January 3, 2008 at 8:33 AM (PDT)

6

I don’t mind going digital for most “standard” style CDs in those annoying jewel cases, but there will always be some CDs that I just have-to-own, because the packeging is just so damn cool!

Think “Ladies and Gentlemen we are floating in space” by Spiritualized, and you’ll see what I mean.  There’s simply no way that a digital package could come close to duplicating the experience of the physical object that this CD is packaged in.  The same goes for a lot of card-board packed CDs (Lemon Jelly’s offerings are key examples) - the matte finishing is a big part of the overall visual experience.  Staring at a tiny picture (or even a big one) on a computer screen doesn’t even come close.

All my jewel-case packed CDs go straight in the cupboard after purchase, but the specially packed ones get prime real-estate on the bookshelf where they belong!

Posted by Dopial on January 4, 2008 at 8:37 AM (PDT)

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