Apple's Secret Plan to Bring Back the Album

Apple plans interactive "book" with digital album download; Will release tablet-sized computer by Christmas

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Monday, Jul 27, 2009  |  Updated 12:18 PM CDT
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Artists will thank Apple for saving the throw-away track.

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Apple won't apologize for killing the music album -- but it will try to make things right.

The tech giant that conditioned consumers to buy tracks one-by-one is reportedly in talks with four record labels to boost sales of digital albums on its iTunes music store.

Apple has been developing a new way to bundle liner notes and other interactive elements with downloads, and hopes to "re-create the heyday of the album when you would sit around with your friends looking at the artwork, while you listened to the music,” one music executive in-the-know told the Financial Times.  

The software lets users play video, read lyrics, and listen to album tracks on an interactive "book" -- all without needing to return to iTunes.  

“It’s not just a bunch of PDFs,” one executive said.

EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Group hope to launch the secret project, code named "Cocktail," with Apple in September, according to the Times.

Separately, the company will release a tablet-sized computer -- with a touch-screen up to 10 inches diagonally -- by Christmas, insiders told the Times. 

Now if they could only bring back the boombox.

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