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Album art is dead. 4040 Responses

Last post: 1 year, 4 months ago | Thread started: Nov 19, 12, 5:37 p.m.

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  • jtb26

    Why? With the capacity and power of the devices we use to obtain and listen to music why are album covers now little more than avatars for the records we listen too.

    Apple tried with iTunes LP but it falls way short. Are there any other alternatives out there to this?

    Any better ideas - or is it just useless to expect the same experience I had with CD's and LP's on my phone or table? (I tend to think not, call me old fashioned)

    Nov 19, 12, 5:37 p.m. – Permalink
  • autoflavour

    Albums themselves are dead..

    dont get me wrong, it makes me sad.. i love the concept of whole albums.. but for the most part, its all about individual tracks..
    and you cant make a cover for ever single track..

    • trueSunSunSun1/5
      Whether this statement is true or not is heavily dependent upon the genre of music.melq2/5
      @melq also trueSunSunSun3/5
      I disagree on both points. I always download albums, almost never make mixes and have come across plenty of albums that have different album art for each track.CyBrainX4/5
      albums that have different album art for each track.CyBrainX5/5
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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 5:40 p.m. – Permalink
  • e-wo

    You can make a cover for every track, and that's precisely what's going to happen soon.

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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 5:42 p.m. – Permalink
  • autoflavour

    of course you can.. but with the margin for profit being pretty much zero, the spare cash to get a graphic designer/artist to make something for every single track.. isnt that accessible..

    or we will be flooded with equally mediocre artwork

    • You mean the way it's flooded with mediocre music? :pjtb261/4
      And I say that as a lover of music.jtb262/4
      maybe i am looking too much from electronic music viewpoint.. but yep.. go to beatport and listenautoflavour3/4
      each week, 1000's of new tracks.. mostly all sounding the sameautoflavour4/4
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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 5:45 p.m. – Permalink
  • jtb26

    I get that.

    So - I may be totally wrong (I often am) but I think that maybe part of the reason Albums are dead is because the emphasis on the experience of a record has gone away. If the music isn't put together in away that makes listening to it fun (liner and production notes, lyrics, photos, bios etc.) then there is no incentive to buy the whole thing.

    People used to only buy singles or 45's but it expanded to albums and you usually got a little more than just a front and back cover. I think if albums came along with more content, that was compelling there would be a strong enough niche to buoy sales of entire albums. There just isn't a good platform for it.

    • ipods killed the album. before that, you had the whole CD to listen to on your discman..autoflavour1/5
      and you would carry those cd wallets around with like 20 of your favourite cd'sautoflavour2/5
      now if you buy music.. you click thru and buy what you like off an album..autoflavour3/5
      Understood, still think that's symptomatic of the lack of value that comes with an album. Not the technology we use to purchase it.jtb264/5
      purchase it.jtb265/5
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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 5:45 p.m. – Permalink
  • autoflavour

    not exactly the same conversation.. but comes to mind pretty quickly

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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 5:56 p.m. – Permalink
  • fredddddd

    http://www.stonesthrow.com/store…

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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 6:14 p.m. – Permalink
  • fredddddd

    Magazines too.

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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 6:16 p.m. – Permalink
  • Douglas

    album art, much like book covers, should all be produced as main title sequences. like a 3min intro to get you excited before you start.

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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 7:18 p.m. – Permalink
  • utopian

    Newspapers, magazines, books, posters, album art, etc...
    They are all dying breed.

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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 7:36 p.m. – Permalink
  • scarabin

    so with print and album art dead now, what's the new thing?

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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 8:01 p.m. – Permalink
  • instrmntl

    Sadly, print and analog is dead. Album art unfortunately falls under both categories.

    • No offense, but I disagree with all of those 3 statements. It less popular than before, sure. Dead? far from it.Miguex1/3
      My statements weren't to be taken as absolute truths, but I'm flattered that you took them as such.instrmntl2/3
      "Sadly, print and analog is dead" is an absolute statement.i_was3/3
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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 8:07 p.m. – Permalink
  • Miguex

    I think album art has evolved to live performance.
    I used to do album covers for vinyl releases, then the CD came and went, and eventually (still do every now and then) beatport thumbnails which is horribly small.

    But where that side of work started to fade away, I started to develop visuals for touring acts (mixing them live, or providing conceptualized pieces by the artists as form of loops that someone else will trigger during the performance)

    http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/296938_10150801288050381_199550833_n.jpg

    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/319015_278591988820625_328158953_n.jpg

    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/309055_278592068820617_1864961890_n.jpg

    In essence (to me at least) is the same thing. A visual interpretation of the music to be presented to an audience that will experience it (at it's best) when the artist's music is playing.

    These days, musi artists are shifting their money to live shows, so Album art is not dead, (and probably will never be) it will continue to shift onto different forms and music delivery continue to evolve.

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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 8:20 p.m. – Permalink
  • Miguex

    http://www.utne.com/uploadedImages/utne/blogs/Media/print-is-dead.jpg

    And going back to the statement 'Print is dead'.
    Who here doesn't interact at least once a day with printed mediums? From the embossed paper sleeve on your morning coffee, to packaging protecting your latest electronic gadget, to you laughing at the ridiculous headlines on the cover of that Oprah magazine that sits on that display near the register at the supermarket.

    Dead means dead, and print can't be dead if we all continue to interact with it on a daily basis. There's a recent portion of some of the print medium that were shifted to digital mediums. Yes of course, but that doesn't mean print is dead.

    In my opinion it all comes down to seeing the glass half full vs half empty that's all.

    • Ask The New York Times if the glass is full. Print is dying. To me, I think that makes the medium more valuable.instrmntl1/6
      newspaper were never that strong of a reference for designers anyways..Miguex2/6
      Newspaper switched to a different medium, yes. Is that an indication of the entire medium being extinct to you?Miguex3/6
      Yup, and books and other publications going down the toilet. I love print, don't get me wrong.instrmntl4/6
      we have packaging, end cap displays, art books, invitations, clothing, posters, etc.Miguex5/6
      There will always be a need for a printed medium.. might not be as big as before, but it will be there.Miguex6/6
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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 8:37 p.m. – Permalink
  • whatthefunk

    My earliest memory of album art was Queen's "News of the World" from my father's collection. The robot always freaked me out but I remember playing this and inspecting the album cover. It's a shame that this experience will not happen in the future.

    I believe that now with avatars, social media thumbnails, itunes covers, live broadcast graphics like Miguex is describing and the overall artist/album/song graphic production is an interesting evolution of the medium. I've always been loyal to listening to albums from start to finish but the majority doesn't and branding singles and an artist is fascinating in a digital world.

    http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/41497097/News+Of+The+World+folderjpg.png

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_y7o_kJy0vSE/TEHN7yk4g7I/AAAAAAAAAFk/OkUPf6TmIBw/s1600/Queen_RockWorld_gate.jpg

    • I see what you are saying, it will be a different experience that's all. Little kids these days learn how to use ipad/ iphone incredibly fastMiguex1/3
      I'm sure they will get to experience a similar feeling that will also stay with them for a whileMiguex2/3
      exactly - as long as artists release apps (like Bjork) to support an album, we're goodwhatthefunk3/3
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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 8:47 p.m. – Permalink
  • monNom

    Don't you remember how shit most albums were? you had to buy the whole album just for that one song you liked, none of the others were even remotely as good, and the "album art" was complete bullshit with mostly some grungy low-res photographic treatment and or a black and white snapshot of the band, and a bunch of copyright/disclaimer text. no lyrics, no deeper meaning, no art. Just legaleze.

    Good album art was really the exception, not the rule.

    • while I don't agree completely, I admire your positive outlook on thisMiguex
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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 9:55 p.m. – Permalink
  • cannonball1978

    The concept of an album is itself a marketing tool to get you to buy more songs.

    At least we're heading back to the way it was.

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    Dog-earNov 19, 12, 10:50 p.m. – Permalink
  • jagara

    Albums (that is, collections of songs from a single artist/band) will never die, IMHO... but it will be a niche. And actually, as somebody pointed out, it all started with single songs anyway :)

    • The word album refers to a collection - wax discs were originally packed in album (think pictures)jtb261/2
      I was refering to pop music in the 50's being sold as singles. Though I agree there will be smaller demand.jtb262/2
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    Dog-earNov 20, 12, 2:05 a.m. – Permalink
  • noel

    https://bleep.com/cd+vinyl

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    Dog-earNov 20, 12, 3:32 a.m. – Permalink
  • ORAZAL

    Steve Jobs is dead

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    Dog-earNov 20, 12, 3:40 a.m. – Permalink
  • Glitterati_Duane

    http://distilleryimage0.s3.amazonaws.com/512ac60e2ff611e282a722000a1f9d5f_7.jpg

    http://distilleryimage7.s3.amazonaws.com/b36fadc02ff611e295e31231380ff907_7.jpg

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    Dog-earNov 20, 12, 4:09 a.m. – Permalink

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