iTunes LP format failing to catch on, say execs
Universal, EMI, and other entities in the music industry are looking at distributing more albums as iPad apps, according to the New York Times. Universal has already partnered with a company called Eagle Rock Entertainment to do iPad versions of movies about famous albums such as Nirvana's Nevermind, with added social networking; EMI recently published a $10 iPad version of Until One, a new album by the Swedish House Mafia. The app includes photos, documentary videos, and written comments by the band. Icelandic artist Bjork has announced that a project called Biophilia will involve "music, apps, Internet, installations and live shows."
Studios wanted iTunes LP, got little sales
The creation of iTunes LP was largely the result of major label pressure on Apple, a series of telling leaks has revealed. Music industry contacts claim that the 'deluxe' albums were a necessary part of the same deal that also forced variable song pricing in exchange for an all DRM-free catalog. The RIAA member labels, not Apple, wanted to resuscitate album sales and thought the bundle of special features would achieve the goal.
Apple tablet to dwell more on books, video
Apple has been briefing record labels about its tablet but clearly doesn't consider music the focus, details slipped out today suggest. The iPhone maker has reportedly been briefing labels this month in advance of the January 27th event but is, according to insiders, only doing this as a "courtesy" to keep them informed. iTunes LP albums may be part of the design but wouldn't really need label talks as they've already been developed.
Promotional album exploits iTunes LP format
Apple has published the iTunes Holiday Sampler, a free album available through the iTunes Store. The compilation includes a number of traditional and non-traditional Christmas songs, from artists like Toby Keith, Weezer, Stephen Colbert and Aretha Franklin. It primarily directs listeners to albums the tracks are taken from, which come at a cost. The album also serves to promote Apple's iTunes LP format, which offers DVD-like extras such as lyrics and photos.
Update would ship as part of iLife 2010
The next version iDVD will include tools for iTunes LP creation, a source claims. The feature would allegedly be part of a massive overhaul of the software, which has received comparatively little attention next to other iLife programs such as iMovie, iPhoto and GarageBand. An iDVD update would likely arrive alongside the 2010 edition of iLife.
Products supplement iTunes Store material
As promised, Apple has opened up the development of iTunes LP and Extras content, publishing guidelines and templates on its website. Extras recreate the special features of DVD and Blu-ray discs, while LP provides something similar for music. Independent record labels have complained that Apple first restricted LP to the four major labels.
Tech currently limited to majors
Apple will "soon" open the iTunes LP standard to everyone, according to a company spokesperson. The format extends iTunes' digital liner notes to allow for DVD-like features, such as photo galleries, elaborate artwork and supplemental video. That material has so far been reserved for the four major record labels however, which include Warner, EMI, Sony BMG and Universal.