Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Last week we noted rumors of Apple's efforts to come up with a new kind of digital album that would include music videos, liner notes and interactive features in one big bundle. (This sounds a lot like the old "enhanced CDs" that no one really cared about back in the late '90s; but whatever.) Now the word is that  Sony, Warner, Universal and EMI have been working on a similar project, and tried to bring Apple into their plans early on, only to learn that Apple was going its own way. The record label project has been dubbed "CMX," while Apple's is code-named "Cocktail." Both are designed to move on-line buyers away from the one-song-at-a-time habit and get them back into albums as albums. A noble goal. But given the way people actually listen to music these days, is the prospect of a promo clip, a lyric sheet and a list of thank-yous really that persuasive?

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