Recording
Sponsored by
PreSonus

Six Reasons Why The Album Format Died

It's easy to say that online music slayed the album, but it was only the final dagger after six long swords

By Bobby Owsinski August 1, 2011

This article is provided by Bobby Owsinski.

 
I think it’s safe to say that we’re at the end of the “album age,” and although the format will hold on for a while, it’s clearly waning in popularity.

I’ve given this a lot of thought and have come up with what I think are the reasons, but be aware, they’re not all exactly what the popular wisdom assumes.

So let’s begin with the six reasons why the album format has, for all intents and purposes, died.

1) It was a visual experience. The album format in the vinyl record age had the advantage of that wonderful piece of cardboard known as the album jacket.

The album jacket contained the cover art (still found on CDs), and most importantly, the liner notes on the back, which we’ll get to in a second. But one thing that everyone either forgets or has never experienced is the fact that millions of albums were purchased completely on impulse because of the album artwork alone!

It may be hard to believe, but it was quite common to come across an album cover that was so cool that you’d buy it without knowing a thing about the artist. Sometimes it would be a total loser, but you still had the liner notes to read, and occasionally that would still make it a worthwhile purchase.

2) It was an informational experience too. Those of you too young to have experienced this don’t know how much the liner notes meant to nearly everyone who bought an album (the picture on the left gives you an idea how extensive they could be).

You could spend hours reading a well-written gatefold jacket, checking out every credit, wondering just where these exotic studios were (Smoketree Ranch in Malibu was the one that always intrigued me the most as a kid), and generally just soaking up any info you could about the artist.

Of course, this was way, way before the Internet, so the liner notes were sometimes the only place to find any of info on the artist at all.

To say the least, the visuals and information along with the music made buying an album a total experience that today’s album doesn’t some close to.

3) The demise of the record stores. Once again, this may seem hard to believe but nearly every community had someplace that sold records, even if it didn’t have a record store.

There was an entire network set up to supply records to department stores, supermarkets, even diners. You couldn’t help but to run into someplace selling records during the course of a day.

But the record store was the place to not only buy music, but to spend hours browsing. Why? Because of the cover art and liner notes. You’d peel through a bin of records, stopping every so often to look at an intriguing cover, which made you want to read the liner notes, and maybe even buy the album as a result.

But the record store was also the best place for word of mouth. The people that worked the record stores always knew what was hot, what was underground but about to pop, and what was overhyped. You could go into a store and ask a clerk, “What’s really good?” and he’d give you 10 choices, most of which were pretty high quality.

This is something that the music industry is still looking for today online. Now we call it “music discovery” and VC’s still throw big money at anyone who claims to have an app.


Read the rest of this post

1
2


About Bobby

Bobby Owsinski
Bobby Owsinski

Music Industry Veteran and Technical Consultant
Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. For more information and to acquire a copy of The Recording Engineer’s Handbook be sure to check out his website.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Freedomsound says

You left out a big one, Bobby: Dynamic Compression. The CD format made extreme dynamic compression possible (more so than the LP format), and as a result, record producers for the major labels were under pressure from the labels to maximize the average loudness of the track, rather than maximize the dynamic impact. As a result, we’re left with music that has been stripped of a significant portion of its musical content (dynamics are just as much a part of music as pitch and timbre), and the resulting product fails to keep and hold the listener’s attention. In other words, today’s musical product necessarily fades into the background as listeners turn it down from listening fatigue. Digital formats have huge dynamic range, but the labels don’t seem to recognize the true impact that dynamic contrast has on the listening experience to delight the listener and hold the listener’s attention, and as a result they’ve devalued their own product.

biff henderson says

you said “dropping a deuce”

George says

Bobby!  Love the question, and some good answers but that’s mostly peripheral stuff.  And the music didn’t got to “hell in a hand basket” due to CDs. CDs came in the early ‘80’s and people were amazed by them and bought them over 20 years in ever-growing numbers. Sure we missed the album art, but look at the sales, grew from invention of the CD up until Napster’s piracy made it stupid to buy a CD when you could get the same music for free. I think you’re missing the main elephant in the room: due to theft and lost of money, musicians lost the basic control of our recorded music’s distributed best form:

The main reason the long-form album died is primarily due to the fact that 85% of the music consumed today is stolen, and, most importantly, stolen song-by-song. As well, in the transition to digital download distribution, the main distributor, Apple/iTunes, found they could make more profit on the hardware side if they took away the rest of the music control from the music makers (artists/writers/labels/studios/publishers) by removing all theft protection.  Steve Jobs famously double-crossed the musician by looking at the iTunes/iPad vs the actual music file profit columns and deciding that it was the hardware that was going to make him even more rich, and quicker. Amazon quickly joined in, they had to compete. Who cares if now over 85% of all music on smartphones and iPhones is stolen MP3s? Steve Jobs cared! And he went right to it and to the bank with his silicon, steel and plastic - not music - profits: the iPod, iPhone and iPad liked piracy.  Why? More music, illegal or not, and more hardware got sold.  And the album? Around 2007, with piracy blossoming - and when this was all happening there were serious discussions regarding giving the music creators the control of deciding whether they sold their music only in groups of album-sized bundles, (or six songs (EP), two songs (45) or singles groups)- but that could never happen even though what musician wouldn’t mind grouping his songs as albums, digitally, if they wanted to, and if the songs weren’t available for free?  Creating an album is no big deal with any sort of copy protection. And then had a totally transparent and excellent and painless music protection system - DRM - that they suddenly Apple smoked, threw away, to allow Napster style music stuffing into their iPods and iPhones, totally growing their sales fabulously.  Had they not stopped protecting our music, we might have had the ability to make “album” be how the world would hear our music.  Remember, it’s living in an insane asylum to live in our present world where we are told that music has no value when its actual consumption (hours people spend listening to it) has more than doubled since 2000! Yet the money we get paid has evaporated.  That’s why there are no albums, there’s no reason why in a digital world that has the world paying serious bucks for a 2-hour movies and 300 page - again, paid for - Kindle releases, we couldn’t have the wonderful, artistic and totally gratifying long-form album, but we got sold down the river.

Kenneth says

I think that other problem now, is, that people dont care that much… they forget more quickly. Your single could be hot today, tomorrow i dont know who are you

raybanssale says

ray ban sunglasses already achieved iconic status inside the quality eyewear market. The brand ray ban uk has been around since 1937 in fact it is still one of the strongest players in the industry.When you see Ray ban sunglasses, the 1st stuff that probably come to your mind include classy elegance, stylishness, and proven functionality. These qualities have the core of Ray Bans designs. These made the brand the entire world leader in designer eyepieces. ray ban sale is perfect whether you are 18 or Eight decades old. It is among the best brands ideal for all age groups. Your designer ray ban sunglasses will still look good upon you although you may have outgrown it.
——————————

ray ban says

Ray Ban Sunglasses Online Shop. Probably not ray ban any other ray ban model can be as have ray ban sunglasses a good ray ban sunglasses reputation mainly ray ban sale because ray ban sale that of Ray Ban sunglasses
ray ban uk. For upwards ray ban uk of 70 years ray bans the search of Ray-Bans
ray ban sunglasses sale has dominated the silver ray ban sunglasses sale online.
ray ban aviators screen and pages of process ray ban wayfarers magazines. The customary ray ban 2140in dark lenses combined with heavy
ray ban 3025 plastic ray ban 3025 sunglasses frames ray ban 2132. ray ban sunglasses 2132 has long been recognized ray ban with ray ban regard to its “incognito”  image
ray ban sunglasses.Wasn’t it Lauren ray ban sunglassesray ban sale Bacall who to start
ray ban uk with wore Ray Ban Sunglasses ray ban sunglasses sale in film? It ray ban sunglasses sale could be not likely but ray ban aviators everyone recalls a ray ban wayfarers minimum of a single old B&W ray bans film star who looked great in the essential Ray-Ban ray ban 2140. Stars are ray ban sunglasses 2140 still seen wearing ray ban 3025 these main ray ban 3025 brand name sunglasses anywhere ray ban 2132 that people pretend to keep away from the press from ray ban sunglasses shop.

asv says

Abercrombie and fitch online shop.abercrombie and fitch Individuals are regularly so obsessive abercrombie and fitch abercrombie and fitch uk about having on good Abercrombie & Fitch abercrombie and fitch sale and are actually abercrombie and fitch in a mood to wear abercrombie such a wayAbercrombie that could possibly be abercrombie and fitchabercrombie and fitch london considerably better abercrombie and fitch than others abercrombie and fitch
abercrombie fitch. All of us wishes for to look abercrombie fitch sale really good and the way abercrombie and fitch you dress abercrombie and fitch store up provides a really abercrombie and fitch good effects regarding abercrombie and fitch abercrombie and fitch england your total character abercrombie and fitch. Putting on a costume is regarded as to become abercrombie and fitch abercrombie outlet one among the very important and abercrombie and fitch outlet online vital things that may make or london abercrombie and fitch break your Abercrombie and Fitch UK characteristics abercrombie and fitch abercrombie and fitch outlets abercrombie and fitch. Other folks get fascinated close to you with the abercrombie and fitch

ray ban says

Christian Louboutin Shoes Christian Louboutin have proven to be Christian Louboutin Shoes some of the Christian Louboutin
Louboutin largely popular models Christian Louboutin Shoes in the modern Christian Louboutin Shoes day universe. Rivaling christian louboutin uk makers like Jimmy Choo louboutin shoes, Christian Louboutin has a imaginative christian louboutin sale eye with an up-to-date mode. He continuously Christian Louboutin Shoes Christian Louboutin
louboutin sale generates shoe Christian Louboutin Shoes ranges that get christian shoes women insane with the motivation louboutin shoes uk to posses a set. Every womem’s desire is getting from wholesale prices Christian Louboutin Shoes
Christian Louboutin Boots, providing them the manner Christian Louboutin Shoes sort they prefer at a an
ysl shoes cost effective price.Christian Louboutin presents ysl a different gang of selections yves saint laurent Christian Louboutin Shoes. You will find something for anybody Jimmy Choo. Flaunting Christian Louboutin Shoes with a couple of alluring heard Christian Louboutin Shoes
Jimmy Choo Shoes in the Christian Louboutin Shoes collections of Short Boots jimmy choo pumps, Mini Heels, High Heels and Incredibly High Heels Christian Louboutin. You could get a efficient shoe

asvasv says

Pandora jewellery uk shop. The Pandora jewellery pandora jewellery range is renowned pandora jewellery for its model pandora jewellery
pandora uk, craftsmanship, structure and pandora jewellery advancement pandora bracelets. One among its favored portions pandora charms is the Pandora bracelet which pandora jewellery
pandora beads ranks amidst the finest pandora custom-made jewellery in the country
pandora jewellery uk presently. Available in a lot of designs from bracelets pandora stunning necklaces, bracelets or anklets charms pandora, this charms assortment ranges styles pandora jewellery
pandora necklaces for all types of women.Known as the designer pandora uk, almost any pandora jewellery
pandora jewellery girl would even think of, Pandora custom-made pandora uk collection is taking the country by storm and does it very properly with magnificently built jewellery any woman would be very happy to put on. Pandora charms a woman maintains style and flare through its completely unique pandora bracelets combos and inspiration indicated through pandora jewellery
pandora charms jewellery. Each and every portion of pandora bracelets pandora beads are made by hand and personalized pandora. The line is recognized for using birthstones pandora jewellery
pandora jewellery uk, zodiac marks, desired gems and colors or basic bracelets pandora beads with variations that match any graphic charms pandora, lifestyle, triumphs or adores in life. These encompass, but are not limited by, letters than pandora necklaces can explain names or nicknames pandora jewellery uk shop.

asvasv says

Thomas sabo jewellery.thomas sabo  Now the situation is reminiscent of thomas sabo uk, thomas sabo has been found thomas sabo charms for being a synonym thomas sabo of ideal thomas sabo bracelets gifts. Let the sabo thomas situation be each one of thomas and sabo these, like Christmas, Valentine’s Day or sabo charm Mothers Day, you can obtain charms thomas sabo the perfect present that meets thomas sale the person and the celebration thomas sabo
thomas sabo sale. This kind of a reward sabo bracelets could add to the magnificence and happiness bracelets thomas sabo of the whole occasion thomas sabo jewellery. There are actually thomas sabo many people who
thomas sabo complains about not getting or thomas sabo uk not been able to select a
thomas sabo charms superior present for their thomas sabo bracelets beloved ones. But the thomas sabo sale and thomas sabo uk shop thomas and sabo you definitely will sabo thomas in no way have that form of a discontent. In addition you don’t have sabo charm to concern whether the receiver charms thomas sabo will enjoy it or not thomas sale. These kinds of gifts thomas sabo sale surely have constantly demonstrated sabo bracelets a mysterious capability to deliver more closeness thomas sabo charms bracelets thomas sabo among the people from thomas sabo jewellery shop.

asvas says

Tiffany and Co. tiffany jewellery can make tiffany jewellery one of the most high tiffany uk priced, sought-after and glorious tiffany and co bits of jewelry obtainable tiffany tiffany co. If youre fortunate tiffany jewellery uk enough to have tiffany jewellery got a part or tiffany co enjoyed more than enough to have was presented one from uk tiffany a substantial several other tiffany necklaces, youll look after that tiffany jewellery tiffany bracelets and keep it as glorious tiffany jewellerytiffany rings as the time it left tiffany charms the box, for good tiffany earrings tiffany jewellery. tiffany jewellery In various hassle-free measures tiffany and co, you can keep on your Tiffany Jewellery tiffany uk dazzling.Soak gold tiffany jewellery uk for tiffany quarter-hour in a remedy of tiffany jewellery uk two cups warm water and just a few sheds of tiffany co a slight dish cleaning uk tiffany liquid. Then delicately clean with a soft-bristle tooth brush. tiffany necklaces Rinse out by way of tepid tiffany bracelets water, and tiffany rings dried tiffany jewellery utilizing a delicate cloth.Saturate diamonds tiffany co for 20 or so minutes in a solution of tiffany charms a cup warm water and 1/4 pot ammonia. Subsequently delicately clean with a soft-bristle toothbrush,tiffany earrings getting in the minor areas between the diamond and the environment on tiffany jewellery shop.

asvasss says

Replica watches are generally replica watches the low-price copies of widely known replica watches uk name-brand watches. These watches replica watch can be found for sale by street fake watches suppliers and in small shops swiss replica watches internationally. Since these watches aren’t cheap watches the realistic product, there exists best watches no manufacturer’s guarantee swiss watches. If the replica watch watches for men loses time or ends being employed mens watches, there is hardly any watch shop that even a jewelry or watch shop watches for women can actually do to adjust the element watches in uk. But you’ll find one or two things watch for sale that can be done in one place.watches swiss Updating a Worn-out Watch bandIdentify the watchband brackets replica rolex on both sides of the watch case rolex replica. The watchband is held in put with
replica rolex watches spring bars. Each little spring-loaded replica rolex uk bar engages into lugs on either side of the fake rolex watchband bracket.Put the spring bar tool into the crevice involving replica breitling watches the watchband bracket along side it of

ibrahim says

With regards to case, the actual AR5628 ladies’ pay attention to might absolutely indeed be ““aloud”” to a certain in

comparison to prevent his / her Meccanico products for males armani watches, that although remaining while foolhardy when it is will always

be instead of unpretentious end projects.

swarovski says

Formed with Daniel swarovski necklaces within 1895, swarovski earrings can be on the way in the competitiveness for the purpose of supplying deposits for over century swarovski rings. The exact designer, Daniel Swarovski made the service provider and hang in place retail store with the Austrian Alps far away with any kind of competing threat swarovski crystals. The seller have also been an immediate course through Paris ray ban sonnenbrillen, europe , with the help of Paris , france actually the focal point intended for store shopping during the time ray ban brille. During, Daniel Swarovski formulated an automatic dropping technology which will fabricated the trail for it’s business achievements.

swarovksi uk sale says

Armani Devices - To Fabulous Styles, Classiness plus Magnificence
It again supplies wrist watches from the comfort of daywear to be able to nightwear the ideal for design and style and personal unsecured.Our Timeless types of Armani are known for its definitely splendor, impressive seems together with impress. These timeless scrutinize are known for exhibiting beautiful s / s litigation cases, nutrient knobs as well as marvelous moist cloth resistance bands. For males, all the AR5328 wonderful gift idea. This spectacular observe indicates chromium steel lawsuit and a armani watches  wine face that leave it again probably the most interesting monitors. This glorious keep an eye on has a three grip movements with respect to exhibiting when, three time zones and therefore the associate with which make it one of the most asked for timepieces. The previously discussed components are generally attached to a highly attractive synthetic leather welt making it an experienced wrist watch.One classic watch out for adult males could be the Emporio Armani Of various Check out that is definitely proved to be one of the preferred designer watches by working with light tan a pair-level switch together with set trounce associated with a brown artificial croco. This is among the most easily affordable running watches for males inside the room to do with Armani.If you need for only a fantastic surprise to the gal, then AR3140 are going to be a wonderful novelty given it displays a real gem dial coupled with distinct diamond jewellery.
Thenceforth, Giorgio Armani formed a great many other productive fragrances inside the given signature tune Giorgio Armani brand. The first cologne water for males was published around 1984 referred to as Armani Eau Afin de Homme of which watched amazing success within cologne area.Armani fragrances are notable for it really is floral fresh perfume referred to as the Gio also , the Turquoise Di Gio that literally brings your sophistication combined with edification in females and then adult men. These types of fragrances enjoy a ultimate blend of crackers florals with all the exciting perfume about natural jasmine, gardenia and additionally Silk hyacinth. They cook excellent things in the gal you’re keen on as there are no question that she’ll absolutely adore you in the. All these scents include soft-edged satisfying sizes which them a surplus touch of elegance.Giorgio Armani adopted these kind of perfumes which has a ocean bouquet perfume known as the Cobalt blue Di Gio Dump Homme. It is known the fact that fragrancy appeared to be inspired emporio armani watches by department having to do with Pantelleria, and that is one of several popular travel destinations connected with Giorgio Armani.
Sure, that you may lose weight fast, nevertheless would do the exact same on top of a 48-hour or so starvation, which is just what a great number of major designs manage habitually at your house, as connected to a real laser lipo apparatus jog by just ones own personal trainers. As expected you should shed extra pounds until you try to eat, however it is don’t merely bad for you, your head needs to have dinner to function. Devoid of good enough victuals, you’re saturnine, frustrated in addition to sign up for the let-downs for people you deal with someone gayly filling any experience.A lot of the definitely far-outdoors diet which can be so-far-out-also there:Grapefruit Eating routine (Sorry, too hard to lug an ample amount of them inside back pack.)Cookie Weight loss plan (Are your snacks made up of whole-wheat and therefore amphetamines?)Hot Puppy Diet regime (Soon you certainly will mimic a new hot dog.)

armani watches says

The software reveals any Roman print figure lesson guns plus a few end movements.Some other old classic solutions because of Armani are available around or perhaps orthogonal structure. A oblong manner solutions are very substantially in fashion as is also extraordinarily trendier coupled with trendy. The old classic fashions will most certainly be mens armani watches sale  accessible in two most important pattern alternatives for example , deep light red call with the help of brown leafy fabric staff or even in a super comprehensive forensics education black or white designed for possessing a distinct taste fact.At the moment your entire see marketplace is full loaded with numerous Armani designer watches when it comes to both ladies and men available around brilliant patterns and style. A lot of these tasteful and additionally impressive pieces are really most certainly complimented by using Armani’s fitness wrist watches, Lack of time monitors along with many other types for pieces. Armani is undoubtedly restlessly generating fresh style and then fashions even as sticking to the actual standards in conventional, sophistication plus mundanity. Every last moment point and also criteria are thought along with building these wrist watches for manufacturing the particular owner very.
That youthful Emporio Armani listed revealed his / her twosome smells labels in the form of This lady men armani watches uk  as well as. Any of these perfumes up and running an innovative new trends involved with mixture perfume regarding Armani. The other perfume produced came to be referred to as the Armani Passion for females which have the full ebenholzfarben overall appearance. It routinely confounded for a gents cologne water. This process arboraceous scented was in fact well liked but yet became temporary and additionally was indeed afterward terminated.A different duet scented from your Emporio Armani record label had been the exact Giorgio Armani Light He or she combined with White wine Your woman perfumes. Finally it was invented like a constrained the summer variant in late 2001 however due to diverse acceptance, such exciting not to mention invigorating scents are obtainable as soon as possible. A great many other pair smells at which published right after the good results from Bright He still and she or he this includes Night time designed for Your ex boyfriend and even the girl, Locale Glam coupled with Remix.
Yes, ma’am. Of course it functions. Subject material ? control upon your bank card? The very free weight reduction information and facts yow will discover is commonly operatively attached to successfully Tinsel Your city Therapy Techniques the could cost more when compared to all of your household obtained this. On top of that, a lot of extra weight you may remove returns the very first afternoon you set about choosing “normal” all over again. Such weight loss diet programs provide you with a not true sense for i hope and are absolutely dangerous to your physical structure. Still hi there, in the event you single choose temporary end results, and also to be able to go with your main slinky Armani wear for that Oscars today, amuse give them a go just about all.Have fun in these ER.

Tagged with:

Subscribe to Live Sound International

Live Sound International brings you information on a wide range of pro audio topics. Stay up-to-date, get expert tips, industry news, new products and technologies delivered.

Discover how to make smart use of today’s sound technology, Subscribe Today!

Latest in Studio