Report one is the usual fire and brimstone and doom and gloom affair, in which Salon takes a look at the first six months of the format’s existence, and observing it has thus far failed to fully grab consumer or industry support.
“Like an enhanced CD or a DVD packaged with a physical album, iTunes LP’s bonus materials may interest super-fans, but they aren’t generating much buzz among mainstream consumers, and don’t appear to be stimulating LP sales at all. “It’s something most people will look at once,” is how one person put it.”
There’s only 29 iTunes LP releases for sale in the US via iTunes, almost half of which were among the first dozen to be introduced, and which were developed in collaboration with Apple.
An interview with Rhino Entertainment’s David Dorn shows a slightly different humour to the iTunes LP flatline.
“The initial launch was very successful. We sold thousands and were very happy,” he tells Paid Content. The problem is the way iTunes works – the extended LPs don’t always make it to the store before the standard versions.
“Rhino has talked about the situation with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and it sounds like a fix is in the works. Dorn added, “I think that the LP is a really important next step in digital product packaging.””
In other words, like every rev.1 Apple product, don’t throw the iToys out the iPram and take the iGround straight away. Though if anyone were to ask me I’d say that the price don’t fit the market, extra features or not. If you want to spend that kind of money on a slice of music and want an interesting new format why not buy a CD? You get to hold it, smell it, and rip it. (And it’ll sound better through your stereo.)
To make iTunes LP succeed, all Apple and the labels really need to do is offer the music at higher-than-CD-quality bit-rates, with the right to burn the audio to CD, so DJs could use the format in their live sets on those big, loud, but sometimes acoustically unforgiving PA systems.
One day maybe the digital world will fulfill the promise and offer music in better, rather than lower quality format.