I received an advance copy of one of the five new Jimi Hendrix V-Album releases –Valleys of Neptune, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland and First Rays Of The New Rising Sun — that came out out yesterday via ScatterTunes.
Unfortunately I already own Are You Experienced? digitally (and on vinyl), so I’m writing more about the format here instead of the album.
The V-Album format is designed to convince people to PAY for music by adding lots and lots of added value. For example, the advance copy of Are You Experienced I received features:
- 17 High-Quality MP3 Tracks
- Lyrics to All 17 Tracks
- Digital Images of Select Handwritten Lyrics
- Hi-Res Digital Photos
- Digital CD Booklet
- Links to Hendrix Merchandise
- 17-Min. Documentary Video
It looks like this:
I’ll admit I’m not the most tech savvy person, but I do consult clients on social marketing strategy, user experience and even do some information architecting on a daily basis. With that said, I was definitely confused how to import my V-album through the ScatterTunes iBoard versus the V-Album iBoard (and why they both stayed open after the import).
When I did finally figure out how to import the tracks, I was pleasantly surprised it gave “Import mp3s into iTunes library” as an option. Since that’s where the bulk of my digital library exists, it’s great to have it in both stores. Turns out V-Albums offer high-quality (320kb), non-DRM MP3 songs that exported into any MP3 player. That’s fantastic.
When you open the Hendrix V-Album, it immediately goes full screen and let’s you page through lyrics (including sweet hand-written Hendrix lyrics), photos and the album booklet while you stream the album, as well as watch bonus video footage and link out to jimihendrix.com and .
This is cool technology, yes. It’s hard to argue that all of these extra goodies aren’t better than a tiny thumbnail graphic that comes with most digital albums.
Overall, ScatterTunes iBoard V-Album is two new tech names too many and not as intuitive as it should be, especially when competing with the simplicity of iTunes in both name and function. For me and my music consumption, I’m not sure this solves a problem I need solving. Maybe I’m in a “Purple Haze,” but I’ve built a habit of “listening” to music rather than “experiencing” it.