The Null Device

2009/11/27

Apple have just released the specifications for the iTunes LP format, a way of encoding extra content to wrap around music albums, and it looks very elegant. As mentioned before, an iTunes LP is a directory containing the original media and graphic files, as well as XML metadata, HTML/CSS for presentation, and code in JavaScript for the navigation. The JavaScript code uses a framework named TuneKit, which, in characteristic Apple fashion, is elegantly Model-View-Controller; rather than littering DOM objects with event handlers, an author defines controller classes which deal with the relevant events.

Apple say that they will start accepting automated submissions of iTunes LP content to the iTunes Store in the first quarter of 2010. Of course, as the format is open, there is nothing preventing people from rolling their own and selling them from other sites.

I wonder how long until there are open-source iTunes LP players for platforms such as Linux.

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The Guardian has a rare interview with Elizabeth Fraser, the singer from the Cocteau Twins, in which she talks about the breakup of her relationship with Robin Guthrie and the disintegration of the band, her subsequent relationship with Massive Attack's Damon Reece, and her gradual return to music:

She and Guthrie were lovers for 13 years, during which time the difficulties any relationship faces were compounded by being in a band together. "We were so close, but certain responsibilities were too much for us," Fraser says. The birth of their daughter Lucy-Belle in 1989 "didn't impact as positively" as she'd hoped.
There were resentments on both sides, she says. They were "outgrowing each other" and Fraser was increasingly unhappy in the band. She resented "doing what people wanted all the time" and began to break free, a process documented on the unusually direct lyrics of the 1993 album Four-Calendar Cafe. The situation was sharpened by Guthrie's dependency on alcohol and drugs, revelations (which came from him, after the band's split) that shocked fans. But Fraser's own unhappiness was unnoticed by her colleagues.
Reece understands that the process of putting her back together as a singer is an ongoing process. "I feel sorry for the general public because I hear her singing in the house and it's truly amazing," he says. "But she's absolutely genuine in every way possible. Which can be very frustrating, but is an amazing attribute to have. I've worked with many singers, and a lot of them are fake. The world is a sadder place without Elizabeth singing."

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