“The pop album made its way through the 20th century by staying adaptable, transforming itself from analog grooves to digital bits. But can the notion of an album — a collection of songs sold as a single unit, to be heard in a certain sequence — survive the Internet?

That question has been raised more insistently since Apple Computers started its iTunes store, where songs can be downloaded for 99 cents and complete albums for $9.99. Apple recently announced that 6.5 million songs have been downloaded since the store opened on April 28, fewer than half of them as part of albums. Its competition, Buy.com’s buymusic.com, is expected to announce its opening on Tuesday, selling downloads for the much more widely used Windows operating system.”