The next generation of music

Apple seem to have a passion for trying to re-invent the way we use certain technologies. With this in mind, the FT website has published an article which talks about Apple's plans to come together with major record labels to tackle the lull in album buying in the recent years.

The popularity of download-able content has shot through the roof, especially music, leaving many people with bare CD cabinets. However, have no fear because Apple seems to think it has the answer. Working closely with EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music, Apple are hoping to to stimulate digital sales of albums by designing interactive booklets, sleeve notes and other interactive features to go along any with music downloads.

So, perhaps not saving the high street stores, but changing the dynamic of the iTunes store. According to the FT, Apple "hopes it will change buying trends on its online iTunes store."

The big names of music production along with Apple are heading towards a release date for September for the project.

"It's all about re-creating the heyday of the album when you would sit around with your friends looking at the artwork, while you listened to the music," said one executive familiar with the plans."

"It's not just a bunch of PDFs," said one executive. "There's real engagement with the ancillary stuff."

So, now every track buyer will hopefully be able to enjoy footage, lyric sheets, and linear notes in addition to their musical content. Apple think this will add a new dimension to the way music is provided in the future and hope further, that it will increase online sales of music through the iTunes store. The music companies according to the FT website, declined to comment on this matter.

Album sales in the US fell 14 per cent in 2008 to 428.4m units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks retail sales data.

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