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Music Media Entertainment

Music Labels Working On Digital Album Format 250

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the i-bet-it-wont-be-open dept.
Nerdfest writes to mention that just weeks after Apple announced their new "Cocktail" digital album project, the four big record companies are moving forward with their own project dubbed "CMX." The new digital album will feature songs, lyrics, videos, liner notes, and artwork. "However, this may be of little interest if CMX isn't compatible with iTunes, the default music software for iPods, iPhones and Apple computers. Whereas labels are eager to resuscitate the album format in an age of singles, Apple is concerned with selling hardware, including a tablet computer rumored to be launching this fall. The major labels plan to launch CMX, which is just a working title for the format, in November. It will reportedly be 'soft-launched' with a few select releases."
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Music Labels Working On Digital Album Format

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  • by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Monday August 10, 2009 @05:48PM (#29017315) Journal

    Their business model is dying, and again they're trying to come up with ways to corner a market they've already lost, with a format that will fail.

    • by Lead Butthead (321013) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:38PM (#29017795) Journal

      Coming from the group that just recently announced their paying customers should not expected DRM encumbered music already paid for to work indefinitely, their follow up announcement of yet another new format surely isn't inspiring any confidence.

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday August 10, 2009 @07:44PM (#29018291) Journal

      From RIAA's Perspective: If it doesn't have DRM, what's the point?
      From the Consumer's Perspective: If it has DRM, what's the point?

      "Forget WAV, MP3 and M4A - major labels have something new in mind, and it's called CMX."
      As a side note, TFA seems to be confused between codecs and containers.

  • It's delicious DRM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alex Belits (437) * on Monday August 10, 2009 @05:48PM (#29017321) Homepage

    You must eat it.

    (If, by any chance, this format is not DRM'ed and patented to Hell and back, count me impressed).

    • by Shikaku (1129753)

      I'd like it if the format was public domain, but the audio file it contains can be anything and will work on players already.

      Naw, I'm dreaming. That could never happen.

    • by jhol13 (1087781)

      I'll be much, much more impressed if this is multi-session CompackDisk(tm) compatible. Then it would be nice.
      Sure, I know there are already a lot of CD's with extra information in another session, but they are not standardised/similar.

      P.S. I am *that* old, i.e. I like to hold something in my hand. Besides, CD's has resale value & works immediately in my car, electronic music does not.

  • by Threni (635302) on Monday August 10, 2009 @05:49PM (#29017337)

    I spend some time removing art and crap like that from mp3s so they don't waste space on my iPod - why re-invent the wheel?

    • by Tyr_7BE (461429) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:41PM (#29017817)

      Funny, that. Whenever I rip a CD to MP3 I spend some time *adding* art and crap like that (genre, year, etc...) so it feels more like an album than just a file. Everyone sees the world through different eyes I suppose.

      But yes you're right, I've been getting by with MP3 just fine for quite some time now. For those who *really* want to go all out and get the liner notes, lyrics, front and back cover artwork, etc, a collection of properly named jpegs and a music player that knows what it's doing will fill that need nicely. However, a new dominant format ensures that you will yet again have to purchase the White Album, which translates to money in the pockets of the recording companies. Is it any wonder they have their best eggheads on the job?

  • by Nerdfest (867930) on Monday August 10, 2009 @05:51PM (#29017355)
    Here's hoping that any format battle leads to an open format. We don't need another format that must be licensed or a fragmented market. There's no word in the article about whether or not either format supports or requires DRM.
    • by alen (225700)

      I read about this two weeks ago. This idea was originally made up by the record companies and pitched to apple. The record companies didn't like apple's walled garden approach and didn't want to lose control like they did with iTunes so they have their own open format to compete with apple.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)
        I'm not a fan of Apple's walled garden approach either. If it's open, perhaps Amazon and others will adopt it. As long as it's not used to push DRM, it's not a bad idea.
  • A few predictions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Techmeology (1426095) on Monday August 10, 2009 @05:53PM (#29017391) Homepage
    1) CMX will be used to facilitate DRM
    2) CMX will be used to facilitate unwanted bundling (i.e. without offering singles)
    3) CMX will be patent riddled
    4) CMX will be designed to exclude FOSS
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      1..n) Numerous ways how CMX will used to annoy the consumer unnecessarily.
      n+1) CMX will be a failure.
      n+2) Years later, labels realize that CMX is a failure.
      n+ever) Labels get why it is so and correct their behavior.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by grub (11606)
        You forgot:
        n+3) years: RIAA blames piracy for the failure of CMX and contributes heavily to politicians for new laws.

        .
    • by Tacvek (948259) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:31PM (#29017739) Journal

      My Guess:
      CMX will require using specific Windows software (5 years later a Mac version will be released), and will require a mandatory 30+ second anti-piracy video before you can play a song.

      Perhaps I am wrong. I mean I would not mind a file format that allowed album artwork, lyrics, and liner notes to be stored in a standardized way along with all the songs of a single album, as long as individual songs can still be extracted.

      But why bother? The iTunes extentions to the aac format allow album art, all the information from liner notes, lyrics (although not synchronized lyrics AFAIK), and more to be embeded in a song. Heck, it even supports synchronized images to be muxed in along with the audio, and chapter marks to be inserted.

      So I see no advantage to such a system over a zip file of all the songs of the album in AAC format, unless the whole purpose is to make albums into a branded experience.

      My guess is that the format is really just a way to bundle the autoplay executable, and other "extended extras" found on the data track of modern audio CDs.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:59PM (#29017985) Journal
        Unfortunately, to a music industry exec, your post looks something like this:

        "Blah, blah, geeky whinging, blah blah, yada yada Mandatory 30+ Second Anti-Piracy Video kids these days.... iTunes... foo blah, etc Album.

        Branded Experience!

        Blah, blah, mumble, blah. foo winge"

        They'll definitely fuck this one up.
      • by imroy (755)

        I mean I would not mind a file format that allowed album artwork, lyrics, and liner notes to be stored in a standardized way along with all the songs of a single album, as long as individual songs can still be extracted.

        FLAC has been doing this for years - rip an entire album as one long track and embed the CUE sheet. It allows you to write an audio CD that is an exact copy (including all the right gaps), or to break it up into individual tracks. The artist/album/genre/etc info is in a Vorbis comment block, and any album cover art can be embedded as well. Tada! No need to reinvent the wheel.

        Except it has no DRM and is widely supported by those smelly hippie Linux users and their open sores software! So of course they must

        • > [FLAC] allows you to break it [large flac file + cue sheet] up into individual tracks.

          Please tell me how to do this...I've never gotten that to work.

          And anyone having the issue,that ripping a CD in K3B as large FLAC w/cuesheet doesn't let you skip to specific songs in the album when played in Amarok? Some albums strangely work just fine, other's I can only play the whole damn thing :-/

      • by imroy (755)

        The iTunes extentions to the aac format allow album art, all the information from liner notes, lyrics (although not synchronized lyrics AFAIK), and more to be embeded in a song.

        No, actually those features are handled by the (standard) MPEG-4 container format. That's something that the "MP3" format never had. MP3 is just an MPEG-1 audio elemental stream, never really intended to be used on its own. That's why the hack that is ID3 had to be invented.

      • by jhol13 (1087781)

        How about CD text (for lyrics) + multi-session where the another session is standardised so that e.g. portable DVD players can show the artwork & perhaps the (low res) video?
        Then some iTunes/whatnot software which can load all that into iPod/whatnot and do the same?

        I must stress that I am so old that I do like to hold something in my hand (so electronic-only is not good for me).

    • This time next year, CMX will be entirely dead.

    • 0) CMX DRM will be cracked within 1 month of the release of the first album (I'm being generous here).

      0a) As a corollary, every new CMX release will be available as a torrent in zipped MP3+PNG+TXT format (to preserve all the original goodies) on the day of release.

  • More for your money. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tacarat (696339) on Monday August 10, 2009 @05:56PM (#29017403) Journal
    While doubtful, I want to know if the people in charge of this product are going to give us the "what the consumer wants" that WE want, what they THINK we want or SOS with a higher price tag. At some point these executives need to catch on that they're middle men and have a shrinking role in the game unless they work on increasing their assets rather than controls.
    • While doubtful, I want to know if the people in charge of this product are going to give us the "what the consumer wants" that WE want, what they THINK we want or SOS with a higher price tag.

      I think the RIAA cabal has been infiltrated by the Greenwich Mean Tribe with the goal of making them kill themselves. It's sad when a Cory Doctorow plot is the most logical explanation for a real-life phenomenon.

  • Really?!?! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Spewns (1599743) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:06PM (#29017501)
    "songs, lyrics, videos, liner notes, and artwork". Brilliant! Although I think I found a better technology for this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar_(file_format) [wikipedia.org]
    • Even that isn't needed. ID3v2 allows to store all of that already (except videos - but why would you want that in an audio file??), and most desktop and portable players these days can understand and display that stuff.

    • by ianare (1132971)

      Yes, what if there was some way of embedding all that info into one file ... why, it would be revolutionary : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ID3#ID3v2 [wikipedia.org]

      There are standard frames for containing cover art, BPM, copyright and license, lyrics, and arbitrary text and URL data, as well as other things.

  • let them go for it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hype7 (239530) <`u3295110' `at' `anu.edu.au'> on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:07PM (#29017507) Journal

    it won't really matter. if there's one thing the labels can be relied upon to do, it's to provide something that people don't want.

    • by roesti (531884)

      if there's one thing the labels can be relied upon to do, it's to provide something that people don't want.

      But enough about today's pop music - let's talk about a new digital album format.

  • by RDW (41497) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:07PM (#29017509)

    Sounds like both Apple and the Major Labels are infringing on my patented Digital Album Format. The working project title is 'Directory', but it looks like I'll now need a TLA to compete with Big Media - 'DIR'? DIR can hold any reasonable number of 'tracks', or even multiple albums and movies, each of which is 'tagged' with all the relevant data and album artwork, and all of which are already compatible with iTunes! Recently I've also implemented 'a brand new look, with a launch page and all the different options.' Like CMX, 'When you click on it you're not just going to get the 10 tracks, you're going to get the artwork, the video and mobile products'. Obviously I can't give away too many details at this point, but I can tell you that I'm thinking of calling the DIR launch page 'index.html'.

    • by Kratisto (1080113) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:18PM (#29017611)
      Your technology sounds extremely promising, but how do you plan to keep track of multiple DIR files? I've invented a technology that we're calling "Folder" around the office. With it, we can create complex trees of digitally organized music, video, and even ebooks. The major advantage here is that you can use "Folder" to create repositories for all your digital media ranging in specificity from artists down to albums. You can even launch the media directly from your "Folder" viewer with two clicks! We expect the major bugs to be worked out fairly soon, and you might see "Folder" on your computer in the first quarter 2010.
      • by TheGreenNuke (1612943) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:37PM (#29017785)
        I like your idea for the technology you call "Folder". Mind if i expand on that an create what I'll call a "Library"? This "Library" will be a user-defined collection on files portraying the data independent of your "Folder" tree. the User will be able to group and flatten the tree however they desire by aggregating multiple physical locations into a single view. If you can get your "Folder" technology together in time I'd like to go for an official release in late October 2009 for my "Library" technology.
    • Sounds like both Apple and the Major Labels are infringing on my patented Digital Album Format. The working project title is 'Directory' ...

      Ha! But I've already patented `.' and `..' so all of you are infringing.

    • by NonSequor (230139)

      Chances are they want to provide things like DVD style menus that work consistently across a range of devices with different display and input capabilities. That's not a terrible idea and it is the sort of thing that you need some sort of standard for beyond "just use HTML".

      • Chances are they want to provide things like DVD style menus that work consistently across a range of devices with different display and input capabilities. That's not a terrible idea and it is the sort of thing that you need some sort of standard for beyond "just use HTML".

        Why would I need DVD style menus on a music album? Last I checked, all players already provide convenient means to freely navigate both between and within the tracks; what else is needed?

        • by NonSequor (230139)

          Supposing that a band is interesting enough to listen to, I would think that they would be interesting enough to put together some interesting supplementary material: art, liner notes, etc.

          It gives bands an opportunity to have a more creative platform for presentation than just a cover image and a track list, which is all a digital album amounts to at present.

      • Chances are they want to provide things like DVD style menus that work consistently across a range of devices with different display and input capabilities. That's not a terrible idea and it is the sort of thing that you need some sort of standard for beyond "just use HTML".

        No, that is a terrible idea. Anyway, what's wrong with HTML+Javascript for that application? People have been designing webpages that "work consistently across a range of devices with different display and input capabilities" for years.

    • by jrumney (197329)

      but it looks like I'll now need a TLA to compete with Big Media

      Distributed Version Control sounds like an interesting "method and apparatus for distributing Digital Albums". I think the entrenched competition from bittorrent might be difficult to overcome though.

    • by Neoncow (802085)

      Regarding TLAs, the acronym is a euphemism to mask the true intent.

      Digital Restrictions Management

      No acronyms. When educating people, we need to be clear, concise, and accurate.

    • Your implementation probably infringes on my patent: the B-tree ;-)

  • by AdamD1 (221690) <adamNO@SPAMbrainrub.com> on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:08PM (#29017519) Homepage

    Several colleagues of mine pointed me to this story and I just have to say: the labels - again - still don't get it, and they apparently never will.

    I can understand why some artists create full length works. Few can argue that an album like Pink Floyd's "The Wall" or The Beatles' "Abbey Road" work very well as complete pieces. The reality is: how many current artists are making albums that consistent? I can think of only three that actually make the cut for me: Queens of the Stone Age, The Mars Volta and until lately Nine Inch Nails. With only that last example, their audiences are not earning them in the tens of millions in sales. The only artists which are are the artists which are responsible for this massive audience shift away from album purchases!

    Britney Spears is the veritable poster-child for why albums are failing: even if you are a die-hard fan, you really only want two songs, at most perhaps five, from any of her full length albums. That says: you don't want to spend $15 - $20 for a complete CD / $9.99 per digital album download. You prefer to purchase individual tracks. (That and: you'd probably still prefer they cost around $0.49)

    On the other hand, if their audience are "classic rock fans", I still don't see the point. If you're a Led Zeppelin fan, you likely already have all the remastered reissues and re-re-re-issues you care to spend any money on in the first place. (And the Beatles re-re-re-re-masters are coming out imminently as well, marking something like the eighth time those have been re-issued of re-packaged in one way or another.)

    That well has run dry. Why they don't face this fact is confusing.

    I know that individual tracks aren't going away, and I know that digital sales on their own aren't necessarily resulting in booming profits for any of these labels, but my point is: as someone who has been a voracious consumer of music since 1979, I see utterly no legitimate business case for this "new" format, and it baffles me completely that any major label would seriously consider this as the saviour of their industry.

    I would have been far more excited to hear that they decided on a $0.40 per single purchase price for new artists - big marketing campaign or not - rather than this ridiculous additional format. That or that they finally decided to give the artists more of a cut of the digital download price, since printing, shipping and manufacturing costs are of course greatly reduced for any digital download format. (Not saying it doesn't still take a creative team to create artwork, but there is no shipping, and no printing involved.)

    I've already made a few wagers: I give this two and a half years at best before we see an unsurprising news story claiming that this did not significantly improve any digital music sales for anyone.

    What a waste of money already. They still have a full year before they even release the first one.

    ad

    • by SomeJoel (1061138)

      I give this two and a half years at best before we see an unsurprising news story claiming that this did not significantly improve any digital music sales for anyone.

      Well it would have, if it weren't for all those god damn pirates!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AndrewNeo (979708)

      My (favorite band) has always managed to make their best songs not-singles. Usually the singles are the ones I -don't- like off their albums. I'd rather they keep making full albums, especially so when I go to see them live it's not like I paid $60 to listen to the radio.

    • by mblase (200735) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:29PM (#29017713)

      Britney Spears is the veritable poster-child for why albums are failing: even if you are a die-hard fan, you really only want two songs, at most perhaps five, from any of her full length albums.

      You've got that right, except for the way you seem to be placing blame at Britney Spears' feet.

      The greatest "rock albums" out there are almost always wholly written and created by the bands themselves, bands with the creativity and experience necessary to be good songwriters as well as good performers.

      But BS is a singer, not a musician. She was created by the music labels as a pretty face and voice to sell albums, and they used a handful of good singles written by other people to sell entire albums of songs.

      This is and has been the music labels' modus operandi for decades, because it works and it's more reliable -- it's easier to find a good singer who's hot than a good singer who's hot and can write and play good songs.

      Moreover, creating a complete album crafted as a whole is a time-consuming endeavor which should not be pursued by the faint of heart. It's difficult and risky. And since it requires an actual attention span to appreciate, its appeal is likewise much more limited.

      The labels have been promoting the singles-based emphasis ever since they first came into existence, because that's how songs used to be recorded. The album is a much more recent invention. Small surprise they're having trouble adapting to it.

      In my opinion, the labels would be better off spending time finding ways to make more money with singles than diddling around with online albums.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ianare (1132971)

        it's easier to find a good singer who's hot than a good singer who's hot and can write and play good songs.

        It's also the kind of mentality where a singer needs to be hot to sell anything which is doing a serious disservice to music in general.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        I think a more accurate term for what BS is would be 'performer'.

        It's about the entire show, not just the singing. No one cares that she didn't create anything.

        No I do not like her.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by tygerstripes (832644)
        LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hoplite3 (671379)

      I agree that this is out of touch. It's also out of touch in a revealing way. The execs are seeking to "add back" to the digital album the things they were used to from the physical album. But the new generation of music listeners have no experience with the old album. To them, the band's "art" is their website. The band's videos (from concerts and so on) are either on the website or on youtube.

      I do think there's more to the album than the possibility for theme. I think bands work better when work is focuse

    • by taustin (171655)

      Sing it, brother. The last album I bought expecting more than maybe two decent tracks was Meat Loaf: Bat out of Hell, from which every single track was in the top 40 at one time or another. If the RIAA wants me to buy albums, they need to produce albums that aren't 90% festering crop that sucks donkey dick. I've spend more money on music since Amazon started selling DRM-free MP3s than, literally, my entire life before that (which would be 40+ years). And the day I can't buy DRM-free something will be the da

    • by glwtta (532858)
      That says: you don't want to spend $15 - $20 for a complete CD / $9.99 per digital album download. You prefer to purchase individual tracks.

      Personally, I've never really felt that way. If an artist can't manage an album that I would enjoy, I can't really see paying for any music from them, even if it is $1 for one song. What does it mean to like an artist, if you think they can only manage a couple of listenable songs every few years?

      Maybe it's because I'm so used to listening to complete albums tha
    • by gsslay (807818) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @04:32AM (#29020925)

      I can think of only three that actually make the cut for me

      And at this point your entire argument falls to pieces. Just because you personally can think of only three that, in your opinion, make the cut for you, means nothing. Maybe your musical tastes are rather limited? The music industry caters for a far wider market than you personally. If they cannot sell an idea to you, that does not mean the idea has absolutely no value.

      And your Britney analysis is like 5 years out of date. Are you sure you're well placed to be advising the music industry on marketing?

      it baffles me completely that any major label would seriously consider this as the saviour of their industry.

      I must have missed this in news article. Where is anyone claiming this? Oh, they aren't.

      As far as I can see, this is the music industry providing "Value Added" content that everyone is always saying they need to do in order to convince people to actually pay for things. This is them providing an electronic equivalent of the record sleeve that many actually miss. What exactly is the problem with this??

  • by danwesnor (896499) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:14PM (#29017565)
    ... but was the Apple tablet dragged into this article just because Slashdot is the only site not spreading that rumor?
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:15PM (#29017573) Journal

    The music track will use the Ogg Vorbis format, included videos using Ogg Theora, liner notes and lyrics being XML formatted with various included XSLT stylesheets for 10 different attractive layouts as chosen by the artists, as opposed to the music label! The CMX sales will be supported by donations and revenue reaped from immense sales of concert tickets, thanks to naked girls performing in the pauses as they serve Ubuntu Cola!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      +1 Arousing

    • The music track will use the Ogg Vorbis format

      Dammit, I was hoping to drink that coffee!

      naked girls performing in the pauses as they serve Ubuntu Cola!

      You owe me a new pair of underpants.

  • What about CD? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by _merlin (160982) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:22PM (#29017641) Homepage Journal

    Isn't the venerable Compact Disc a "digital album format" already? That's why it doesn't degrade with repeated playback, after all.

  • by rickb928 (945187) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:24PM (#29017663) Homepage Journal
    Just a thought...
  • then we don't want the whole album. Sorry, Charlie but welcome to the future.

  • by Entropius (188861) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:44PM (#29017853)

    ... it's very popular and easy to use, has an open specification, and allows users to convert easily into formats playable on all popular music players.

    The spec is at http://www.aboutthescene.com/images/scenerules_mp3_2007_v2.png [aboutthescene.com] .

  • by PhantomHarlock (189617) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:48PM (#29017885)

    The problem with supporting an effort like this is that 90% of your payment goes to middlemen. Artists need to stop making the deal with the devil for promotion, and increasingly they don't have to. Set up your own online store (not hard) or find an artist friendly aggregated store that gives the vast majority of the income to the artist, charging a small percentage for the service (not more than 20%!)

    I believe there is an excellent business model to be had by setting up an artist friendly website. The trick would be to get a few major artists onboard for this effort in the beginning to attract attention. If I had time and VC capital, I'd run of and do this today.

    What is needed is a mass abandonment of the ASCAP/BMI regime, so that it will collapse. How much of your 99 cent purchase at the itunes store goes to the artist, when the music is being licensed to the itunes store through traditional record companies? Very little, from what I have read. pennies on the buck. Itunes is part of the problem.

    This whole thing has gone on far too long. Artists who are -good- should be able to stand on their own without the help of the major record companies, with all the tools that are available to the artist directly these days.

    The record companies are similar to film companies in that they will obfuscate the profit sheets as much as possible to show a loss. That is why most major film talent now negotiates income percentage on the front end gross as opposed to the back end net, in addition to their fixed salary. The net income from any given film is proving increasingly elusive, if you ask the accounting department at the studio.

    the one thing that can prove me wrong is if someone can show me that selling your music the traditional way is still more profitable than going it on your own, due to the sheer quantity of sales.

    • by realmolo (574068)

      The thing is, you won't ever get FILTHY RICH without the promotional muscle of the big labels. THAT is the carrot that the labels use to get artists to agree to ridiculous contracts. And almost all of them DO agree to those contracts.

      Very few artists are going to be willing to give up the chance to be millionaires. The catch is, of course, that if you don't become a HUGE SUPERSTAR, you aren't going to be a millionaire, and in fact you'll probably end up far worse off than if you signed with a smaller label

    • Where signing with a label is beneficial is concert promotion, getting venues of any appreciable size set up is a specialized skill. And bands get a better chunk of the profits (usually 10% of the gross - actual band expenses like hotels to my understanding).

      Though thats plenty doable with a smaller label, which is also going to be more reliable if what you want to be is a working artist.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by http (589131)
      Congratulations. You've just reinvented a middleman.
  • Destined to fail (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday August 10, 2009 @07:06PM (#29018031)

    The world has moved on, yet the music industry once again demonstrates it hasn't figured this basic fact out yet.

    While we /.'ers are all worked up about possible DRM, most of the world doesn't seem to care if it's done right. However I'm certain this format - with or without DRM - will live for a short period on life support, and then will quietly be allowed to die at a young age without a whimper. Nowadays most people just don't care about album liner notes, lyrics, and the like. Heck, even back when I was buying vinyl albums, I didn't care much. I might look at liner notes once... but usually I'd just glance at them while I was pulling the album out of its sleeve. I just wanted to hear the songs then, and that's all most people want from their music purchases now.

  • If done properly this will be a good idea.
    In this idea's simplest form, it can be a tar file which has to follow certain rules about what goes into it and its location. Think about how on a Unix system, /bin can be relied on to contain only certain executables, so if you need one of those things done, check there. If it's a system binary, check in /sbin. If it's other programs that aren't managed by the package manager, check /opt.
    A properly done CMX would have top level directories like /art, /lyrics,
  • All record company politics aside, we need an open source album format. MP3's to date have been individual song formats. They can have limited graphics embedded into them, but they are limited to a single individual file package. What would be good is:

    - An open source audio compression which is completely scalable (maybe ogg for one download option, flac for those who really enjoy their music).
    - Different price points for different quality (an ogg album for example would be $10, flac could be $20, flac with

  • People say they want liner notes and a CD cover and all that, but when push comes to shove they just want to put a nickel in the nickelodeon and get music music music...

    This is another solution looking for a problem.

  • FLAC and a nice pdf. That's all I want.

  • So the IRRELEVANT seek to obtain more IRRELEVANCE?
    Gasping and struggling for that last breath... before they sink and die.

  • by plazman30 (531348) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:07PM (#29019161) Homepage

    There used to be this thing called the concept album. And, in order to understand a song, you had to hear it in the context of the album. When concept albums were out, 80% of the tracks on the album were actually good. Now, 20% of the tracks are good and 80% are crap, and most albums don't have a cohesive theme of any kind.

    Why would anyone want to buy an album these days?

    It's not the model that needs to change. It's the content.

    People keep screaming we need a new Nirvana to break out of this rut music is in. We DON'T need a new Nirvana. We need a new Beatles and Beach Boys.

  • No thanks, not interested...

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