New File Format Combines Music, Graphics, Text & Video 13/08/09
Cher's 1979 Disco Classic, Take Me Home
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Big four record labels Sony, Warner, Universal and EMI are working together to launch CMX, a new digital album download format.
CMX, which is expected to launch in November, will combine music, liner notes, artwork and videos into a new type of downloadable album. The labels hope that the new format will generate more interest in album downloads, vs singles.
According to a label source, "Ours will be a file that you click on, it opens and it would have a totally brand-new look, with a launch page and all the different options. When you click on it you’re not just going to get the ten tracks, you’re going to get the artwork, the video and mobile products.”
On first glance, the CMX digital album format looks like a solution in search of a problem.
Album sales are declining in large part because digital downloads have given people what they want - the freedom to buy the songs they like, instead of a package that labels have put together.
Another challenge facing the format is that Apple is rumored to be developing its own enhanced album format. If Apple doesn't support CMX with iTunes and its iPod portable media players, the format will probably be dead in the water.
What do you think of the idea of a new digital album format? Is there a need for a type of album, or is the music industry just trying to recapture the past?