Digital Album Art: Is There a Better Way?

One of the coolest thing about vinyl is the packaging: a one-foot-square canvas that can be used to entice, enchant and mystify. But in the digital era where so much music is virtual, artwork has been almost totally squeezed out. Or has it? This is from The Tite Report:

It’s Record Store Day. Maybe it’s even a little bit sunny out. You head on over to visit one of Toronto’s most iconic record shops: Sonic Boom. Hours are spent flipping through vinyl album after vinyl album, searching, exploring and discovering – it’s not just shopping – it’s an experience.

But the real magic happens when you get your new albums home. You carefully crack that plastic seal to reveal the full album art in all its glory. What’s inside? Pages of lyrics, band photographs, and custom illustrations. Awesome. You drop the needle and let it spin for the first time.

*Cue record scratch*

In the digital space, the same thing doesn’t ring true. There is no exciting artwork reveal. Hell, you can barely see the album art unless you’re one of those rare commodities with an iPhone 6 Plus. With nothing to open up. No pages of lyrics, extra band photos, or additional illustrations. The art seems as compressed as the MP3 audio file you downloaded on a whim.

This got all of us at The Tite Group thinking. Is there a better way to make a memorable experience out of digital album art?

You bet there is.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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