Apple Trying to Kill Off CDs

Starting with New Snow Patrol

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The push toward making CDs obsolete has taken another step as Apple is going to begin offering album art applications. This is one aspect of physical products like CDs and Vinyl that music enthusiasts have been reluctant to part with in favor of the digital age, but when that aspect becomes available as part of said age, will they still have something to cling to?

Sure, there will still be the "vinyl is better" argument for some, but for those in the mainstream that haven’t purchased vinyl since the late 80s, are they ready to give up CDs? They take up space, collect dust, and get scratched. Why do we need them?

Snow Patrol - New Album Out in October

Apple’s applications, which will kick off with an upcoming release from Snow Patrol in October, will not only provide content like what would be found in a CD booklet, but also interactive elements such as those found on enhanced CDs, according to Matt Hartley at theglobeandmail.com. So really, you’re getting all the benefits of a booklet, plus content that couldn’t be found in one.

That all sounds good, but questions revolve around age-old DRM-type issues. Is this going to be just an Apple thing? These applications from the Apple App Store are for use with iPhones and iPod Touches. What about other players?

"Kudos to Apple and Polydor [Snow Patrol’s record label] for pushing the envelope," says Hypebot’s Bruce Houghton. "But if labels allow Steve Jobs to control content delivery vehicle then only iPhone and iTouch users will experience all that an artist is trying to convey.  New album cover applications must be multi-platform and open source or the music industry risks a repeat of Apple’s pre-mp3 stranglehold on music sales."

It will be interesting to see where this goes. Perhaps a new standard will evolve from this, and we will finally move on from CDs entirely. Though I’ll probably have my old ones until I’m dead and gone. I still have cassette tapes in the back of my closet somewhere.

Apple Trying to Kill Off CDs
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