• Apple To Open iTunes LP Format?

    image via Jay Robinson

    Apple has been stung by harsh criticism over the $10,000 development fee for creating iTunes LP versions of artists' releases (which, it was revealed, involved no more than some HTML, CSS and JavaScript). Today comes a report in the UK site Electricpig that Apple is going to release the format specs so that any label, large or small, can roll their own.

    The site iTunesLP.net had already released an open-source version of the 1957 Philadelphia Orchestra recording of Disney's Fantasia, complete with the original 24-page program in iTunes LP format. iTunesLP.net also had put up tutorials for creating your own iTunes LP content before the rumored opening of the format. Of particular interest is the revelation that - in line with Apple's habitual Flashophobia - the animations that seems so Flashy are actually based on Apple's own proposed WebKit CSS3 transition properties.

    The report, if true, would be an encouraging sign that the long-rumored Apple tablet - which, it is generally assumed, will be marketed as a platform for iTunes LP content - will foster a new creative marketplace in a similar way that the iPhone unleashed imaginative designs on the App Store. Previous apologetics for the high fees and closed nature of the format have been, frankly, unconvincing, and were a bad sign for the future of development on a device that doesn't exist yet, and hasn't proved that there's even a market for it.

    An open platform for rich digital content, accessible to everyone from major studios to college students, after all, is a much more compelling application than surfing the Web on the toilet.
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