Before the emergence of digital music, album covers were an integral part of music buying.
As people thumbed through record racks, eye-catching album art could prove to be a deciding factor on whether people bought. The cover could convey something about the music inside or whether the act was creative or cool.
Jimi Hendrix's Axis: Bold as Love, Led Zepplin's Houses of the Holy, Peter Gabriel 3, The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed and The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band are just a few classic works.
But in the digital age, people hunt for music on computer screens, and an album cover is often reduced to a thumbnail print if it even accompanies the music at all. Wired.com has a couple of stories on how designers are trying to keep up with the changing times.
"We've been looking at a few technologies (for digital album art) and have been trying to bring these to Apple, to encourage them to bring that level of experience to the iPod," George White, Warner Music Group's senior VP of strategy and product development told Wired. "A very simple demonstration that we've done takes the Gnarls Barkley liner notes and does a fly-through (using Adobe Flash Lite). You're actually moving through the lyrics and artwork...It's really cool-looking on an iPod."