Digital Liner Notes Available for the First Time

Rhapsody is the first digital music retailer to add liner notes to their music offerings. But is physical music still better?

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Online music store Rhapsody is the first to add liner notes to digital music.

Fans of physical records have long complained that digital releases lack details on songwriters, engineers and performers, unlike with CDs and vinyl which tend to print a full list of credits on the artwork.

Now music fans can search the Rhapsody catalog for music by songwriter, producer, session musician or any other contributor.

For example, let's say you're a fan of mixer and producer Andy Wallace who has worked on everything from Jeff Buckley to Linkin Park - search for his name, and his full discography will appear for your to take your pick.

It's hoped that other digital music providers will follow Rhapsody's lead, which could boost music sales and the profile of lesser-known contributors who are often hidden behind the artist name on an album cover.

"Rhapsody listeners are avid music fans who value the craft of musicianship and recording, and they want to know who was involved in bringing a song to life," said Jon Irwin, president of Rhapsody. "We have a responsibility to our listeners to back this initiative, and further, view the inclusion of more complete credits as a truly useful feature that will only deepen our listeners connection to their favorite artists and songs."

What do you think of digital liner notes? Is it a big step towards ditching physical formats, or will digital always lack something special about holding a record in your hand? Share your thoughts in the comments.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I prefer physical formats, definitely. You can't build a purely "digital album collection" and say you can be proud of it like you can with a physical CD collection. Call me weird but I find that most CD booklets smell pretty nice, too. Just saying.
    iTunes and Amazon have been doing this for years, no?
    iTunes and Amazon don't offer digital liner notes. They sometimes offer a Digital Booklet, and inside of that you can usually find detailed info on the engineer, songwriters etc. but unless that is supplied this information is unavailable to customers. They also do not offer a method of searching by engineer, producer etc.
    I'm really into this. I remember my dad pulling out one of his old KISS albums and showing me the part where it says "KISS uses gibson guitars and pearl drums because they want the best" Thats gone when you just download the album