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Labels Risk Giving Too Much Control To Apple Again

SEATTLE (Hypebot) –The death of the album cover in the digital age has been the subject of much debate. Does fan engagement decrease without a physical product to hold, read and learn from? Or with unlimited information available online does it really matter?

Apple appears to be trying to bring album packaging into the digital age with a new iPhone And iPod touch application that the company will test with the latest Snow Patrol release next month. “It will be an interactive element; a digital booklet that will take you into the videos and content,” Polydor product manager Liz Goodwin told Music Week. “For fans it will be a real must-have, and the fact that they are the first band to do this gives us an additional angle for exposure.”

COMMENTARY: Kudos to Apple and Polydor for pushing the envelope. 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.