It was a bigger deal a few years ago: stick a popular music CD in your computer and you'd be greeted by a Flash application containing some music videos and maybe some desktop wallpapers. To some, it was a bonus to having a CD.
Mostly though, the applications were a giant pain in the seating equipment, forcing music fans everywhere to learn what the hell "disable auto-run" meant. Now, imagine that, only with all your songs contained in the same application as well. From what we understand, this is the crux of a new proposal from the think-tanks at the world's largest four record labels.
Known internally as CMX, it will be a music-distribution format--essentially a single download containing all album tracks, the artwork, liner notes, some music videos and whatever else they've got lying around the office--that the labels hope will rekindle the love of buying entire albums, rather than picking the four good songs from whatever A-lister's latest release.
The perks of established artists As a standalone product, CMX could suffer a tragic fate reserved solely for products launched on the back of these very A-listers. In fact, the Times even outs U2 as a possible beneficiary of the new medium, whose next album could spearhead a CMX "soft launch."
Good job, because it'll need the money U2 has behind them to enlist the developer, designer, coder, and distributor elite to produce and peddle the unusual, paid-for downloads fans are going to be encouraged to want. But that's only one part of the potential problem. … Read more