Look for digital album packaging to improve in 2008

“In 2008, look for Apple to make nice with its label partners by offering a bit more with each download, such as lyrics and more interactive album art,” Antony Bruno reports for Billboard via reuters.

“iTunes is the only music service that has a built-in video download feature. The others offer only streaming video. It’s also one of the few services that feature a tightly integrated device–the iPod. Apple is in a great position to roll out new features across its online store and its devices at the same time,” Bruno reports.

“The problem is that the four major music companies rarely work together on anything. So another angle would be for each to go it alone. If digital music services can’t or won’t incorporate better metadata into their downloaded files, look for third-party applications to emerge that will do so after the fact,” Bruno reports.

“Early examples of this are two games developed for the iPod — ‘Musicka,’ created by the developers of the original music rhythm game ‘PaRappa the Rapper,’ and ‘Phase,’ created by ‘Rock Band’ and original ‘Guitar Hero’ developer Harmonix. Both are rhythm-based games that let users “play” along to the songs on their device by pressing buttons at the right time,” Bruno reports.

“The point is that if these game companies can do it, there is no reason why labels can’t offer (or commission) their own iPod plug-in that will import better album art, liner notes and lyrics directly from the label or artist and ported into iTunes and the iPod,” Bruno reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Hey Apple should have the computer read the text file in one of those sexy Victoria voices, then I’ll know what the singer is saying without reading lyric sheet. Ahhh cool and it could be saved as a MP3 file… much like NoodleFlic.

    Wait a minute – that would be like a robotic-ly sung file without rhythm – essentially a crappy music file. Gee – I suck at innovation.


  2. It is illegal to sing any song that you have not leased to listen to.

    Further more… it is not apparently illegal to loan out your CD collection to your friends.

    Because in reality, playing any song from any player – be it a CD player or MP3 player is — reading the DATA FILE and

    REPLICATING in to AUDIO – hence a COPY emanating out into the universe and someone maybe listening or worse recording the sound… hence that is THEFT.


  3. Soon, we will require permission to play our purchased CDs.

    And remember, though it was advertised as, “Own it on DVD today”, you actually do not own anything.

    You are leasing the use to play it in your home.

    And since we are leasing for this long term, it only makes sense that if our media to ever scratch or fail — a FREE replacement should be supplied buy the owner of this media that we payed towards.

    Also, if you require second copies for insurance purposes, the music and film industry should start offering us two DISCs in every purchase as back-up… you know – just in case someone brakes into my home and takes my jewel case with the proof of purchase.

    IS all this getting real clear… cos I am dreaming RIAA daily…
    this is so so great – the future looks bright and cheery.

    No longer will I need to back-up buy favourite purchases.

    No longer will I need to buy the new improved re-encoded White Album.

    No longer will I need to worry if my purchase fails cause the sun eroded the data or a scratch skips a track.

    No longer will I need to encode a Mp4 file for my next trip – cause it will be included on the disc… as well in Divx and MWV formats too.

    YUP – thanks to all the latest moves from the RIAA – we are finally going to start seeing the Music and Film industry start providing things the way we wanted – they really are listening now!

    I am so very happy, ain’t u?


  4. @Shane

    Liner notes (or rather an album booklet) are not silly for classical music which is usually bought by the album because a work is many movements long or one wants a collection of works by a particular composer or performer. In this case, I want the liner notes to learn more about the music, composers and performers.

  5. I would love it if iPods could do lyrics. Especially if they can translate.

    My current favorite album is Sweedish, and great as it is, I don’t really know what they are saying in half the songs. Being able to see the lyrics in English for the songs as they play would be a big boon.

    It would also make the world a little smaller and friendlier if we could enjoy music outside of our own culture through such easy mechanisms.

  6. This is the germ of something I’ve known for a long time – since the Napster v.1 battle. That the “music industry”, rather than try to fight back the enemy, should instead embrace and rally toward the crowd, and in fact innovate more.

    When Napster came out, the Labels all sat around drinking their $300 martinis and discussing how they could kill it. They were losing sales to what was possibly the worst user experience EVER. All they had to do was do it better, and charge a reasonable price, and they could have put all the free file-sharing to a quick end.

    Now, some of these same morons want to see Apple as the enemy, when instead they should be saying to each other “how can we USE this new force to do more for our bottom line?”

    Instead of locking down music with DRM, and trying to figure out how to force people to buy albums instead of the songs they really want… they should be taking ideas like these that ADD to the consumer’s enjoyment of their product.

    How about a single song digital download that includes cover art, lyrics, and a Guitar Hero game file? How about a digital album download that includes not only the cover art, but the back cover template to print and burn your CD in iTunes and put in a jewel case, plus all of the liner notes and lyrics, and guitar tabs, and a game file, and maybe a music video for the big “hit” song?

    Do you think this would create more incentive for people to buy the whole album? Of COURSE it would. And it would cost next to nothing! Look at how DVD’s have evolved… at first it was just “here’s a digital copy of your movie. Have fun. Now you get documentaries, commentary tracks, bloopers, extended scenes…

    Why do these record executives not see what drives consumers? Are they really that far from reality in their ivory towers?

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