updated 10:55 am EDT, Mon July 27, 2009
Apple expands record deals
Apple is planning to expand the content buyers receive when shopping for iTunes music, writes the Financial Times. The company is currently said to be in negotiations with the four major record labels -- EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal -- regarding a project called "Cocktail," aimed at boosting music sales by supplying interactive material with albums. At the core of the concept is a new booklet, which can mix photos, lyrics and liner notes.
Distinguishing the booklet from current offerings is crosslinking, and the ability to play music without returning to the main iTunes window. Album bundles could also include video clips, though whether these would go beyond regular music videos is unknown. Cocktail is expected to debut in September; the Times also suggests, however, that Apple may release it at the same time as the company's 10-inch tablet, allegedly in a rush for the Christmas shopping season. This timing contradicts other reports, which have called for an early 2010 launch for the tablet.