Apple announced its new iTunes LP format some time ago, but without seeing it for yourself, it was hard to determine if it was really all that exciting. Well, now Apple has made one of its newly formatted albums available for free for a limited time, and the question is if the LP format is really worth the extra space on your hard drive?
No album had really come up in the iTunes LP format that I was dying to have, but when Apple offered up a free iTunes Holiday Sampler (iTunes link), who was I to say no? Featuring an assortment of 20 Christmas songs that range from country singers like Toby Keith, to Sarah McLachlan and, oddly enough, Stephen Colbert.
However, this review isn’t about the album, but more about the actual format of the album. When purchasing an iTunes LP you get an additional file besides the actual songs you receive an LP file that you click on to access an interactive environment (that looks an awful lot like its done in Flash, but I’m not positive) that allows you to access the songs, info on the artists, links to their works in the iTunes store and lyrics to some of the songs.
In this particular album, playing the songs with the LP file activated will present you with a screen of falling snow flakes, but nothing else happens during this time.
True this is a free Christmas album, and it is unlikely it is representative of the quality of all of the various iTunes LPs, but based on this alone, it isn’t going to persuade me to buy any album over another. If I want the album, I’ll get it, but I’m not going to go, “Oh! Its an iTunes LP!” The extras can only be viewed in iTunes or an Apple TV, but not any iPods. You would think this would be a natural for the iPod Touch or iPhone, but no such luck, you just get the music there.
Overall I’m glad this sampler was free, and I got some good Christmas music out of it, but the LP format really did nothing to enhance it.
There is no indication when the free promotion on this Holiday Sampler ends, so if you want it you should grab it as soon as possible. Once you do, or if you’ve grabbed a different iTunes LP album, leave your thoughts below about what you think of the format!