Can the iPad Really Bring the Album Back?

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Older fans aren’t the only ones that love albums, and that includes vinyl.

But is there a broader appetite for next-generation album experiences, ones that rope singles back into unified, artistic packages?

The answer is yes, according to ROBA Interactive, a newly-minted iPad-focused development firm.  The idea was created by music industry ‘lifers’ Larry Rosen (GRP, N2K) and Larry Miller (AT&T’s a2b music, Or Music).  Oh, and Phil Ramone, part of a musical ‘startup’ that needs no introduction.

And, as the concept suggests, ROBA will be fueling innovative music apps that are taking advantage of broader iPad capabilities.  ROBA thinks that like the CD and internet, the iPad (and other tablets) “will fundamentally change the way people experience music,” and that includes a rather nostalgic return to gatefold glory.   “Remember all the intimacy of holding an LP cover while listening to music, poring over the liner notes and images?” waxed Rosen.  “Well now, it responds to your touch by providing more information, video, photography, interviews, reference material, games, and anything that the artist and producer envisions.”

The question is whether fans are craving this deeper solution, or if this is a fantasy cooked up by musical die-hards. “Music fans today are using YouTube, Facebook and other sites to learn more about their favorite artists, and the demand for high-end offers beyond the plain vanilla download, such as the Radiohead ‘newspaper’ premium package is growing among music fans,” Miller asserted.