iTunes supports the album

Written by Brett Thomas

March 30, 2007 | 14:13

Tags: #album #download #itunes

Companies: #apple

It seems that no matter what generation you are, the next generation's music lacks all style and quality. But whether you're an old-timer or a young pup, there's no doubt that the way music is released has changed greatly. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, whole albums were in style, but digital music and the MP3 have made the 2000s all about the hit single.

In many music collections, even the nearly infinite space of hard drives will find lonely songs that are without their album. Hit single after hit single often means CDs that have only a few really good tracks, whilst the rest ends up pretty mediocre. And even if the CD is full of hits, they often don't form a cohesive artistic unit we call an album. Well, Apple wants to change all that back while protecting some old greats by offering you a little extra deal for completing an album you own.

The new feature is called 'Complete My Album,' and it will do just that. From now on, when you buy an album that you already have a few songs from, iTunes will give you a credit for the songs previously purchased so that you don't spend more than the album's normal price. For each song that you've already purchased through the service, you'll get $0.99 (the cost of a song) off of the album, even if you purchase it a few days, weeks, or months later.

The idea is a unique one designed to help bring back the album concept by not making users pay twice to complete a collection. Many times, an album is cheaper than the sum of its songs - but once you've bought a couple of the songs from it (for instance, the hit singles), you can be forced to either re-buy the songs or pay for the others in non-album form. This can be particularly hairy with certain releases (particularly classic albums), where some songs are only available if you buy the whole album - even if you already bought a few of your favourites and now wanted to hear the rest.

Though the idea sounds like it will be little more than a way to complete some of your oldie-but-goodie collection, it does have some interesting connotations. This will be the first service where you can buy an album piecemeal over time, which really could have the broad effect on public "album" buying habits that Apple wanted. After all, the service has sold well into the billions of songs already.

Do you have a thought on the new feature? Still mad that there's not much released nowadays worth completing? Tell us your thoughts in our forums.
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