iTunes LP: Video & A First Look

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. 

More on yesterday's Apple music announcements here.

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  1. Exactly, it’s so dissapointing that this LP thing is not portable. Lyrics should be embeded, as text, so that they appear on the screen with a tap when the song is playing. Add liner notes and credits, also in clean text format, inside photos and that’s it. That’s all it should have. Who want’s a complicated to navigate menu that looks like a CD Rom from 1994? I really can’t believe they didn’t get it right this time. Too bad…

  2. I couldn’t agree more with Rafaels comment.
    This whole thing is just another form of denialism over the fact that the whole concept of albums has been made utterly redundant.
    There is absolutely no feature of this that cannot be trumped in every way by a simple artists website. As I said when the info about this idea first leaked, we already have a ubiquitous and mature technology that does all of this and more, it’s called Flash.

  3. The introduction of the new iTunes LP package is a very interesting announcement in a very tumultuous time in the industry. I am a strong believer that adding value to music by way of videos, notes, and extra content has the power to slow and possibly stop the decline in the music business, but I think the iTunes LP is a half-baked attempt for a couple of reasons.
    First, I think the added cost of the iTunes LP ($1-$4) on top of the $9.99 album will drive away all but the most devoted fans. It has been said that Apple’s goal was “…to encourage people to buy more albums than tracks; not to make them pay more for albums that they might already be buying.” However, as a music consumer myself, the only situation I could see myself buying an iTunes LP is if one of my top 5 artists released an extraordinary album with a great concert video as a bonus. It looks as if the bonus videos currently included with iTunes LP’s will lean more toward the candid backstage shots, which can be interesting for the die-hard fan, but not worth even close to $4 to the general public.
    The second problem I have with the iTunes LP is that the pricing scheme seems to go against Apple’s traditional model, which is responsible for much of their continued success over the past 5-10 years. When Apple introduces a new iPod, it always has more features, more storage, and a price equal to or less than the previous model. Apple’s best quality as a company is that it consistently delivers more and more value to the consumer for less money. If iTunes LP’s were priced the same as regular albums, I guarantee it would have a much more sizable impact on sales, and since the videos aren’t exactly Spielberg quality, the cost to produce for the record label could be kept quite low.
    Bottom line: If Apple thinks that this is going to revitalize the music industry and stop the shift toward singles, they will be sorely disappointed. I admire them them for trying to add value to the music buying experience, but the added cost to consumer almost defies the point for me.

  4. Thanks for sharing nice review on iTunes LP features. I am really enjoying this article. It is useful to understand newer technology how to perform.

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