The future of the music album: will it become an app?

I have seen many formats come and go and have often wondered whether my kids will ever sit down and listen to an album in its entirety. As many of us did back then, we read the liner notes, appreciated the artwork and played at least an entire “side” from start to finish. Those days seem long gone. Even I admit I have traded the portability and easy access to my music collection for superior audio quality and the tactile pleasures of the album.

Many have claimed that MP3 file sharing and iTunes’ 99 cent singles have brought about the demise of the album. What was once a coherent work and artistic vision has now lost it’s meaning. Has the album become irrelevant in this age of mobile media downloads? More importantly, will some new container format replace it?

I see companies such as iLike that provide bands with simple to use iPhone/iPad apps that aggregate their music, videos, photos, and social networking into one easy-to-use platform. Is that just the beginning of something more interesting? Will each album someday be a custom music app that syncs to both mobile listening and “lean back” home entertainment on the connected TV and home audio system? Will the new Apple TV2 now provide that seamless bridge between my mobile device and a decent sounding hi-fi?

What do you think?

welcome to futurewave insights

we’ll explore themes impacting digital media networking, businesses making the transition towards IT-centric workflows and how to produce and manage digital content from the ground up point of view. Some of my favorite topics are:

  • online video production
  • DIY broadcasting
  • superlative interface design
  • mobile social apps
  • audio engineering
  • trends in content management