If you know me then you’ll know that I still believe in buying physical copies of music. I think that supporting the artists you like is an important thing to do, and buying music is just one way of doing it. One of the reasons I like buying records so much is that I get off on nice packaging. If a record has great album art and it’s on coloured vinyl, there is a good chance that I’ll think it’s cool.
For the most part, packaging for CDs and records is fairly standard. Once in awhile you’ll find some cool artwork and inserts, but the packaging is basically just some cardboard or some plastic. That brings me to what this post is about, which is essentially a new way to distribute music, via a cube.
Here is some more information about this cube via The Needle Drop:
At first glance, this seems like a pretty cool idea. It’s a specialty device meant just to play a certain album. I actually remember seeing a similar idea last year when Slumberland Records put out a wearable pin that would play The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart’s latest album Belong. The question at hand is whether this type of medium has any staying power, or if it’s just a gimmick meant to make money.
Aside from some of the technical problems with this cube device that I’m sure can be fixed, I think the problem with the cube is that it seems to just be a dumbed down mp3 player. My iPod isn’t shaped like a cube, but it’s still rectangular-shaped and I can fit roughly a billion more songs on it than this cube. It’s for that reason alone that I’m going to be staying away from devices like this cube for at least the considerable future.
I can’t see gimmicks like this replacing CDs or records for the time being. I honestly can’t even see players like the cube becoming a standard part or the music market. The only way I think this might happen is if these players played music at a ridiculously high quality. I think that is the only way these devices would be worth purchasing since their purpose (playing one album) is so specific.
The other problem I see with the cube is its price. $40 is far too expensive for a device that has a function this limited, especially if these cubes are being mass-produced. I can see charging that much money if the cube was a limited release, because then it would function like a collector's item just as much as it would function as a music player.
To conclude, if devices like the cube are limited edition and play music at a better quality than any other type of digital media then there might be a market for them. Otherwise, this just seems like a one-off gimmick to make a bit of money.