In a perplexing and absolutely ridiculous move, a format war seems to be brewing in the digital song space between Apple’s forthcoming ‘Cocktail’ and ‘CMX’ by four major music labels (viz. Sony, Warner, Universal and EMI).
Both the formats are more focused on digital album sales, with the idea being to give incentives in buying entire albums instead of individual songs. The two rival formats claim that they will have a single file that integrates album art, lyrics, videos, liner notes, etc, apart from the songs themselves. And Apple has said that Cocktail files will not be restricted to being opened on iTunes alone, although we will believe that when we see it.
“Ours will be a file that you click on, it opens and it would have a brand new look, with a launch page and all the different options. When you click on it you're not just going to get the 10 tracks, you're going to get the artwork, the video and mobile products," a label representative said.
The Times reported that Apple was initially approached to be a part of the CMX group, but rejected it to work on its own format.
"Apple at first told us that they were not interested, but now they have decided to do their own, in case ours catches on," the same label rep told the Times.
The questions in our minds, from a consumer's perspective, are a) Why? and b) Why now?
Does it make sense to anyone at all to buy an all-new format rather than the just use the current technology to boost what MP3 can already do? And why would a new audio format be introduced now, at a time when almost everyone has gotten comfortable with MP3 to the extent where even our grandmothers have heard of the name?
At least Blu-Ray brought more disk space…