Apple Will Stop Accepting iTunes LP Album Formats: What Are They Again?

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Apple is going to phase out iTunes LP, its format for interactive content that comes bundled with albums. Exactly why Apple has chosen to go this route remains unclear.   ( Apple )

Apple just confirmed that it will stop accepting iTunes LP submissions as of March, ending the feature's somewhat brief life.

It didn't garner much success, however. For those who aren't aware, iTunes LP was launched in 2009 as a special as a way for albums to include extra elements, such as interactive content, lyrics, liner notes, and more.

UK publication Metro first broke the news, claiming to have leaked an internal email from Apple titled "The End of iTunes LP," which was apparently sent to music producers. According to this purported email, Apple will stop submissions after March, but additional reporting from The Verge confirms that existing iTunes LP albums will not be removed and remain available for download via iTunes for Mac and PC.

iTunes LP Is Kind Of In Apple Music Already

While it's a somewhat sad confirmation that iTunes LP is indeed nearing total demise, a lot of interactive content is now accessible via Apple Music, the Cupertino company's own subscription-based streaming service, so it comes as no surprise that Apple is starting to phase out LPs.

It's hard to gauge whether iTunes LPs were ever a lauded feature since there hasn't been any significant clamor toward them over the years. The way it works is that they are automatically included in the download when purchasing a full album, but not all albums have LPs. It's difficult to imagine iTunes LPs being the reason why people buy albums in full, so that's probably not the case.

While they aren't really necessary to enjoy artists' music and while they certainly aren't a crucial part or driving force of Apple's profits from iTunes, iTunes LPs are still nice little extras that somewhat enhance the overall musical immersion of the user.  Fans of the format need not worry, as all the iTunes LPs they've purchased thus far will still be available on their library.

Apple Music

The decision represents a natural course of action for Apple to keep on focusing on its streaming service, especially with the rise of music subscription over purchasing albums individually. Spotify is currently reigning in the streaming landscape, with twice as many subscribers as Apple Music, but Apple is expected to eclipse those numbers by this summer.

Thoughts about iTunes LP? Did they ever factor in your album purchases? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!

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