Tuesday 20 June 2006

Wallpaper - the future of digital music art?

Aside from issues of digital rights management, Charles Arthur in the Guardian newspaper writes about an issue I've often wondered about too - what happens to album cover art in a world of digital downloads? He asks "Whatever happened to those big 'gatefold' sleeves on double albums, where you had two feet of space to go mad? What about the photo booklet inserts that The Who used on Quadrophenia, telling a story to accompany the double album through dozens of wordless 11- by 11-inch black-and-white photos?"

I had assumed that perhaps, like books, people would still occasionally desire something tangible to represent their favourite artist (or author) and that they would live on as luxuries at least. But wandering across the MC Lars (aka Mr anthem of the MP3 generation, "Download this song") website the other day I noticed that album cover art of a sort still lives on in digital form - AIM buddy icons and mobilephone (cellphone) wallpaper. Not quite the same perhaps, but at least there are signs that art for the musical masses will live on.

I wonder what other innovations we will see in this area?

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