Yesterday iTunes unveiled the iTunes LP. Billed as a re-imagination of the album, and previously codenamed "Cocktail", iTunes LP adds bonus content like lyrics, liner notes, videos and other digital media to full albums purchased on iTunes. As an example of a creative use of iTunes LP, Apple offered a series of drawings done by Dave Mathews effectively creating cover art for each track on the band's new album.
While a major step forward from the traditional bland album download, iTunes and the major labels that license to them may have miscalculated consumer acceptance on two fronts:
- Compatibility - The iTunes LP will only play within the iTunes 9 format. Best enjoyed on a large computer screen, many users will be frustrated to learn that the extra features from their iTunes purchased LPs will not work on their non-iTunes media player of choice.
- Price - Thus far these "deluxe" versions of album downloads are priced $1 (Norah Jone's classic "Come With Me" to $4 (a pre-release of Paramore's "Brand New Eyes") higher than the regular iTunes versions. The goal was to encourage people to buy more albums rahter than tracks; not to make them pay more for albums that they might already be buying.